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 2024 closed on January 17. Please check out the work of our recent cohorts, and visit again soon to meet our new cohort of participants.

Quick Links

Community History One Pager

Information Session

Did you miss our virtual information on December 11?

No worries. The recording is available now, and the presentation slides are posted below! This recorded information session covers program and eligibility guidelines, application process and timeline, and all of your questions for the 2024 program cohort.

Presentation Slides

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!

Community History Cohort poses for a photo after meeting

Kicking Off the 2024 Community History Cohort

April 9, 2024

Community History 2024 is now underway! This past March, the 9 organizations in the cohort met twice at the Twin Rivers Branch Library in West Windsor to learn all about community-engaged public history.  

Read More

Welcome our New Cohort!

Our 2024 cohort includes nine organizations, each representing a different county!
  • Glen Rock Historical and Preservation Society
  • Bloomingdale Free Public Library
  • Avon-by-the-Sea Historical Society
  • Atlantic City Free Public Library
  • South Jersey Artist Collective
  • Lawnside Historical Society
  • Montclair Public Library
  • Southern Ocean Chamber Association
  • MUYU - Jersey City

Click here to read the announcement of our new cohort!

Past Cohort Projects


Click here to read about the Community History 2023 Showcase, or view descriptions and presentations of participant projects below.

Fall 2022
Spring 2022

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 in person and 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 commit to having at least one, and preferably 2-3, project team members represented at all program activities. 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 receive a $1,000 award at the beginning of the program to support the time investment required for program activities and project development. Pending approval of their project plan and budget, each organization is eligible to receive a second award up to $5,000 to pilot their project.
Spiral Staircase

Take the next step

The application deadline for Community History Cohort 2024 was January 17, 2024



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