Profile picture

Sheila A. Brennan : Curriculum Vitae


George Mason University, PhD, US History, 2010

Dissertation: "Stamping American Memory, Stamp Collecting in the US, 1880s-1930s"

University of Notre Dame, MA, American Studies, 1996

Bates College , BA, American Cultural Studies, Spanish (minor), 1994


Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Associate Director of Public Programs, January 2010-present

Senior Digital History Associate, October 2005-December 2009

Manage variety of grant-funded and contract digital history projects. Work closely with institutional partners and CHNM staff on web and software development; coordinate project outreach efforts and publicity; make presentations and give workshops to diverse audiences about CHNM projects. Write federal and private foundation grant applications; write grant reports, and manage grant and contract deliverables to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget.

  • Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (, Project Manager: digital collecting and archiving project to save the stories from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Earned Award of Merit for Leadership in History by American Association of State and Local History, 2007.
  • Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives (, Project Manager: online exhibition exposes the hidden history of the Soviet gulag, funded by National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Omeka, (, End User Outreach Coordinator: web publishing platform designed to collect, archive, and/or exhibit history content, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Project earned Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration, 2008.
  • Mobile for Museums (, Project Manager, white paper co-author: digital white paper combines research on mobile usage in museums with development recommendations, and mobile prototypes, funded by the Samuel L. Kress Foundation.

Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

January-September 2005

Research Assistant

Researched and assisted in wring federal and state grant applications; wrote documentation for CHNM's ECHO project digital tools.

National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Washington, DC

August 1999-2004

Director of Education and Public Programs

Initiated, developed, coordinated, managed all museum public programming; developed and wrote educational materials; managed volunteer docent program; coordinated all museum publicity; supervised small staff, volunteers, and interns. Developed, wrote, and coded pages for museum web site. Managed budget from two funding sources; worked with community and cultural organizations to collaborate on projects and programs.

National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Washington, DC

June 1997-August 1999

Assistant Director of Education and Public Programs

Assisted in the development and coordination of museum programming; managed volunteer docent program; supervised interns; scheduled museum tours; developed and wrote outreach materials; and assisted in coordinating museum publicity.

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Washington, DC

May 1997

Collections Assistant

Cataloged, measured, and photographed objects for off-site exhibition.

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History: Dorothy and Jerome Lemelson Center for the Study of Innovation and Invention, Washington, DC

February-May 1997

Research Assistant

Researched, wrote, revised, and edited portions of interdisciplinary high school curriculum integrating history of technology into history classes, Whole Cloth: Discovering Science and Technology Through American Textile History.”


Moroney Prize for Scholarship in Postal History, 2010

Humanities, Arts , Science, Technology Collaborative (HASTAC) Scholar, 2009-10

McKinnon-Morton Dissertation Fellowship, George Mason University, 2006

Phi Alpha Theta, History Honor Society, 2005

Webber Outstanding Graduate Student Award, History Department, George Mason University, 2003

Bates College Key, 1994


"'Little Colored Bits of Paper' Collected in the Progressive Era,"Select Papers of the William M. Blount Symposia, (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press), forthcoming.

"Oral History in the Digital Age," Oxford Handbook of Oral History, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), forthcoming, with James Halabuk, Sharon Leon, Tom Scheinfeldt, and Kelly Schrum.

"Why Collecting History Online is Web 1.5," Center for History and New Media case study, March 2009, with T. Mills Kelly.

Encyclopedia of New England Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 3 entries.

"Taking a Byte Out of the Archives: Making Technology Work for You," Perspectives (January 2005) with Douglas Mudd, Kirklin Bateman, and Paula Petrik.

"The Vindex Special: Learning about Technology Through Advertising,"

Magazine of History, (Winter 1998) with Susan Smulyan and Carlita Kosty.


"Omeka for Publishing Research," conference presentation, Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, April 2010.

"Digital-Jump Start," working group, National Council on Public History Conference, March 2010.

"Omeka for Museums," workshop, National Council on Public History Conference, March 2010.

"Digitization for Dummies, Omeka for Museums," conference presentation, Virginia Association of Museums Conference, March 2009.

"Using Omeka in Small Museums," conference presentation, Small Museums Association Conference, February 2009.

"Omeka: Exhibit Collections Online in the Age of Web 2.0," case study showcase, Museum Computing Network Conference, November 2008.

“Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Collecting and Sharing the Stories from the Storms,” conference presentation, Oral History Association Conference, October 2008.

“Crossing the Digital Divide,” conference workshop lead, American Association for the History of Nursing, September 2008.

“Collections Access in a Time of Technical Innovation and Fiscal Constraints - Challenges, Conflicts, & Solutions,” conference panel, Naval History Workshop, June 2007.

“Little Colored Bits of Paper Collected in the Progressive Era,” conference presentation, Winton M. Blount Symposium on Postal History, Washington, DC, November 2006.

“Past/Forward: Collecting History in the Digital Universe” American Association for the History of Computing Conference, April 2006.