Community History

Community History participants work closely with their communities to learn about and share their untold stories. Participants receive instruction on public history practices, develop projects in a collaborative environment, and receive funding from NJCH to launch projects in their communities.

Participants will examine questions such as:

  • How can learning about our community’s history help us to understand our present circumstances and look to the future?
  • How can our organization engage with community histories and share these histories with our community members?
  • How can we preserve, interpret, and amplify our local histories?
  • How can we broaden traditional narratives about our local histories to reflect our whole community’s experiences and values?
Community History Graphic

Nonprofit organizations, state and local government, and unincorporated community groups are eligible to apply to be part of Community History. The application deadline for Community History Cohort 2023 ended January 13, 2023. Please check back soon for information on future cohorts.

Quick Links

New: What’s happening in Community History

To help you keep up with the progress of our program participants, we've launched a new blog, which will be updated regularly with the latest from organizations on their Community History journeys! 

The latest posts include the Fall 2023 showcase and an update on our current cohort's progress.

Screenshot of online discussion of Cohort 2023 participants

April Update: 2023 Cohort Diving Into Community-based Public History

May 8, 2023

The 2023 cohort’s participants all come from non-history-based organizations, including Haddonfield Public Library, Indian American Club, Preserve Shady Rest Committee, Union Public Library, and Washington Township Public Library. After one-on-one meetings with program staff and two hybrid intensive workshops in March and April, this cohort is diving into community-based public history!

Read More

Current Cohort

Our current cohort includes exciting projects from several community-based groups:
  • Haddonfield Public Library
  • Indian American Club
  • Preserve Shady Rest Committee
  • Union Public Library
  • Washington Township Public Library
Click here to see what they're working on!

Past Cohort Projects

Spring 2022

Click here to view the Community History Spring 2022 Showcase, or view descriptions and presentations of participant projects below.


Program Components

The Community History program consists of learning sessions attended by all participants, individual meetings with program staff, and community-based project work.

During the program, participating organizations will build a new history project with support from the cohort and funding from NJCH. Only organizations willing and able to commit to all program components should apply.

Learning Sessions

Learning sessions will include instruction on public history practices, presentations by professionals, and time to workshop projects in a collaborative environment. Full cohort sessions will convene virtually.

Project Work

Participants will work with their communities to develop a history project in the form of their choosing, which will be shared in a concluding public showcase. Projects are supported by one-on-one meetings with staff and mentors. Note: Projects already in process are not appropriate for this program.


Organizations must identify 2 or 3 representatives to participate in program activities and act as primary contacts. Participants can expect to invest a significant amount of time in this program each week. We hope that the skill-building work of these cohorts will translate into long-term benefits for organizations.


Organizations will receive an award of $4,000. Project plans and budgets are developed during the program and must be approved by NJCH prior to beginning work. It is reasonable for a significant portion of the funding to support personnel costs. No matching funds are required, but any matching funds must be included in the final report.

Want to join our next cohort?

The 2023 cohort is currently in process. Timeline and application for the 2024 cohort will be available in fall 2023.

Spiral Staircase



If you have any questions about your eligibility for this program or about program components, please contact Gigi Naglak at or 609-695-4409.

Header photo: "WKL's Newark Assign" by Warren K. Leffler
Library of Congress U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection