THATSummer 2015­​­ Now Accepting Applications

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THATSummer 2015­​­ Now Accepting Applications

Students Will Use Library Archives a​n​d T​e​chnology to Chronicle 1968 Riots

T his summer, 12 students will have the opportunity to be local history detectives and use technology to learn about the 1968 Riots in Washington, D.C. as part of THATClass, a research­-based digital humanities program for high-school-aged students at the DC Public Library.

THATClass is an educational nonprofit that explores how humanities teachers can use hands-on projects to teach students and help them develop life-long skills. The “THAT” in THATClass stands for The Humanities And Technology. 

“The idea for THATClass started when we took a class to the National Archives and spent an hour or so looking at D.C. property records for an alley-life project.” said Patrick Cronin Co-Director of THATClass. "The learning that occurred was of such high caliber that we wanted to find a way to replicate and deepen the experience. We came to the DC Public Library because their Special Collections is ideal for continuing this kind of self-directed learning.” 

THATClass says they chose to focus on the 1968 Riots in Washington because it is a major historical event they found only covered in a handful of academic books and resources. Additionally, the riots in Ferguson, MO and other current events highlighting racism in the U.S. make exploring the riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. timely.  

Students will work together to research and to use technology to tell an untold story about the 1968 Riots. Two teacher facilitators and Library archivists will help the students. The students will also attend workshops designed to develop digital skills like mapping with technology. 

The program will run from July 13 to July 31 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The students will use the Library’s Washingtoniana Archive as well as the National Archives, Federal and city reports on the riots, Army and National Guard records, Metropolitan Police Department records, and DC Fire Department records. 

The students will be responsible for their research from beginning to end. Their completed projects will be published on the Library’s website. In November, the students will share their findings in a formal presentation at the 2015 DC Historical Studies Conference.

To apply, students can go to THATClass’s Web site, The deadline for applicants is March 31, 2015. Information sessions will be offered on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 7:30­ p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Registration is required.  RSVP by emailing  


THATClass is a 501(c)(3) non­profit educational outreach organization based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. To learn more, visit .