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Humanities Specialist, McGillicuddy Humanities Center, University of Maine

Karen Sieber is a historian of late nineteenth and twentieth century U.S. history, specializing in urban history, popular culture, the civil rights movement, and the public and digital humanities. She is the creator of Visualizing the Red Summer, a digital archive and data visualizations about the Red Summer race riots of 1919, which is now the most used classroom resource on the topic, with classrooms using it on five continents. She currently works as the Humanities Specialist for the McGillicuddy Humanities Center at the University of Maine.

As a public historian, she has been involved with dozens of projects nationwide, from museum exhibits and community archives to PBS programs and oral history initiatives. Her work includes the Museum of Durham History exhibit "H is For Hayti," and the site Digital Loray, which documents life in a southern cotton mill village. Digital Loray was named a Humanities For All winner by the National Humanities Alliance. The archive and visualizations she built on the Red Summer of 1919 have been featured by sites including the National Archives, American Historical Association, Zinn Education Project, History Channel, and Teaching Human Rights. Her published work includes pieces for the Oral History Review, American Historical Association's "Perspectives on History", and an upcoming chapter in a series by the University of Illinois Press on "Interpreting Labor and Working Class History at Museums and Historic Sites."

In her role at the University of Maine, she oversees Fellows research, supports faculty initiatives, plans events and lectures, and acts as an advocate for the humanities on campus and statewide. Sieber also serves as the Research and Outreach Coordinator for the Theodore Roosevelt Center and Digital Library. Her current research examines the evolution of field trips and traveling classrooms. She is also wrapping up a project documenting the intellectual and cultural lives of hobos. Links to her work and publications can be found at


  • –present
    Humanities Specialist, McGillicuddy Humanities Center, University of Southern Maine


  • 2017 
    Loyola University Chicago , Masters in Public History