Historycommons.org (fka cooperativeresearch.org) is a unique and useful web-based tool for documenting facts that are suppressed or spun in Establishment narratives, for researching complex events and sometimes murky relationships between entities and events, and for educating the public (thus increasing transparency and facilitating accountability). The principal feature is the ‘timeline’, which is composed of written entries based on events and facts from mainstream or otherwise credible sources. These facts and events may or may not be well-known; often important details, which may have been buried in a document release, court filing, congressional testimony, the end notes of a government publication, or in a mainstream news report, can be discovered by skimming or searching a timeline. Also, the significance of certain facts, events and relationships generally becomes clearer in the contexts provided by the entry and through association with other entries; the timelines also reveal the bigger picture. Members of the public are welcome to contribute information or edits to historycommons.org, but, unlike Wikipedia, each new entry or edit undergoes at least two levels of editorial review, to help ensure accuracy and stylistic consistency.
The History Commons has received praise from a number of respected independent journalists, such as Glenn Greenwald, Craig Unger, Philip Shenon, James Ridgeway and Peter Lance.
If you’re unfamiliar with historycommons.org, or are mainly familiar with the Complete 9/11 Timeline that it has primarily become known for, please explore the site. In the last several years, the 9/11 coverage has been improved and expanded, and the site has grown to include more than 30 timelines covering a diverse range of topics, including health care, climate change, elections, foreign interventions and civil liberties: http://www.historycommons.org/timelines.jsp. Many more have been proposed: http://www.iraqtimeline.com/hctopics/index.html.
This website, first as cooperativeresearch.org, and then as historycommons.org, has existed continuously since 2002, but it is now in dire need of financial assistance; if funding does not significantly increase, the site may go offline by the end of this summer. The History Commons does not accept advertising and has never received funding from government, corporations or foundations. It has relied on the support of the grassroots, and needs to in order to remain independent. More information, including links for donating, is available here: https://hcgroups.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/fundraising-alert-2/
If you can’t offer financial support but do believe in the work the History Commons is doing, you can still help by letting others know about historycommons.org. And if you’d like to contribute research, writing or editing on any timeline topic, that would be welcomed. Also, any feedback or ideas you have would also be appreciated.
Erik Larson aka paxvector
Volunteer History Commons admin, editor, contributor