Project Development

Project Content and Sources

The National Mall is a changing space that has a rich history that is almost invisible on the Mall itself.

Millions of people come to the Mall each year to visit and learn inside its museums and to gather outdoors at its memorials and monuments. By gathering at these places of memory, visitors share their understandings of our national values, rights, and obligations. In this way, the Mall is a place of ongoing conversations about what it means to be American. The Mall is also a part of the vibrant everyday life for the residents and workers of Washington, DC who call this city home.

To create, Histories of the National Mall, we drew upon the most recent historical scholarship and a rich collection of archival sources from major collections in Washington, DC including:

Project Design

Histories of the National Mall is a responsive website, designed to display on any device with a web browser (phone/tablet/laptop/desktop).  As a user, you will never need to download data or upgrade an app in order to access this website.

We want the site to be accessible to the largest numbers of visitors to the Mall. Most mobile devices come with a web browser, regardless of platform. Since Histories of the National Mall is designed for screens of all sizes, it will not be constrained by the quickly changing world of mobile application development.


Histories runs on the Omeka open-source platform developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, using a custom responsive design theme. We built a custom map layering plugin that uses the leaflet.js libraries for tiling and serving historical map layers and works together with Omeka's Geolocation plugin. The site is also using the Exhibit Builder, Simple Pages, Simple Vocab, and Search by Metadata plugins.

Guide to Building this Site

RRCHNM published a free guide detailing how we planned, designed, and built Histories of the National Mall in October 2015, "Building Histories of the National Mall: A Guide to Creating a Digital Public History Project,"

RRCHNM Project Team

This project ran 2012-2015