FAQs

What is Clio?

Named after the ancient Greek muse of history, Clio puts history at your fingertips. Similar to locator ‘apps’ that help you find a nearby restaurant or repair shop, Clio picks up your present location and guides you to landmarks, museums, and historic and cultural sites. It also acts as a virtual time machine, allowing a user to see images and videos and hear and read about historic events that happened around them.

Clio is not only a website and mobile application, but also a collaborative research, interpretation, and map-building project. Entries are created by museum professionals, local historians, and educators and their students. Each day, this partnership of local history experts and professional historians is building a comprehensive, dynamic, and interactive map of American history. Is there a cost to use Clio? If not, how is Clio financed?

Clio is free for everyone. Because Clio does not accept commercial advertisements, our growth depends upon a community of users that donate their time and talent to create and improve entries. We also need financial support to hire editors and subject matter experts, as well as technical staff who expand the features and functionality of our website and mobile application.

Who created Clio?

Clio was developed by Dr. David Trowbridge, Associate Professor of History at Marshall University. Dr. Trowbridge welcomes partnerships with universities and charitable foundations, historical societies, archives and museums, academic departments and individual scholars, talented graduate students, local history experts, and advocates of the humanities across the United States. He may be reached at david.trowbridge@marshall.edu

How does Clio work?

Clio picks up a user’s location and shows them historical and cultural sites near them. Users can also perform their own searches by location or name. The mobile application was built to be user-friendly on a small screen. The full website has additional features that allow users to select a variety of filters to focus their results.

I am using Clio as I travel. Should I use the Clio mobile app or should I use the browser on my mobile device?

It’s up to you! The website has been optimized for mobile devices, so users can choose between the full website or they can use the mobile application when they travel. The full website has additional features that are not available on the mobile application, but the app has been built with simplicity in mind.

What if a historic site is incomplete, inaccurate, or simply missing from Clio’s database?

Clio gets a little each day as people like you add and improve entries. We presently have nearly 5000 entries, but this only the beginning! We depend upon smart and talented people with impressive research and writing skills—people who are knowledgeable and passionate about our history and willing to share their knowledge with others. If this describes you, please create an account (always free) and add and/or improve entries about historical sites and museums.

To improve an entry, simply click on “improve this entry” and submit a revision. Once verified and approved, it will become part of Clio and users will be able to see the changes you made as well as the previous version—a living record of how historical interpretations develop over time.

Sounds wonderful and I’d like to add/improve an entry. How do I enter the information into Clio?

The public can use Clio without creating an account or logging in. Because we care about content, we require users to create an account and log-in each time they add entries, post comments, or suggest revisions. Each new entry and revision enters draft mode until it is approved by an administrator.

After creating and logging in to your account, simply click on the green “Submit Location” tab and fill in each of the applicable windows. To “pin” the location to the map, you may enter an address and hit “Calculate Coordinates.” If you would prefer, you may also enter GPS coordinates and hit “Update Map Location.” If you don’t know either the address or the GPS coordinates but you can find the site on a map, you may zoom in and out and scroll the map until you find the proper location and then double click your mouse to drop the pin to that location. You may also drag the pin if you need to modify the location. Please be absolutely sure that your entry is in the correct location as users will use the app to get directions.

To improve an entry, simply open that entry and then click on the “improve this entry” tab. Once verified and approved, users will be able to see the changes you made as well as the previous version—a living record of how historical interpretations develop over time.

What kinds of information should each entry have?

Each entry should have a title and brief summary (a single full paragraph is usually best). Entries should also have at least one image, along with a detailed description/backstory (3-5 paragraphs is usually best). The detailed description gives users more information and context, as well as interesting background information. Entries should also have links to relevant articles, books, media, and credible websites for those who want more information.

If your site has hours of operation and a phone number, please enter that information in the appropriate boxes. There is also a spot towards the bottom of the entry screen to provide a link to official websites (if applicable), helpful web links, videos and audio clips, primary sources, and links to relevant books and articles.

There are also categories, types, and tags to help filter their results.

Type (Select one of the three)

Sometimes a site might fit more than one type, such as a museum located in a historic building. In this case, please choose the category that you believe is the best fit.

Category-this scroll down menu will change based on the type of entry (museum, historic site, time capsule). A “Category” is simply another feature to help users identify features such as the classification of a historic site (such as a National Historic Landmark) or the relative size of a museum. The scroll down menu for Time Capsule entries also helps users filter their results and adjust their expectations, letting the user know if an entry is about a historic event or if it provides images and recollections of related to a particular location.

Tags-Select as many tags as are applicable from the menu on the left and those tags will appear in the box on the right. To deselect a tag, simply click on it again and it will return to the menu on the left. Tags help users filter between subjects such as “African American History, “Political and Diplomatic History,” “Women’s History” or Military History.” , If a user is interested in learning more, they can select from a variety of multimedia content and even ask Clio to guide them to the site with turn-by-turn directions.

What are the terms of use for adding entries?

Clio uses a Creative Commons license with restrictions designed to protect the rights of our contributors. Contributors are acknowledged as the author of each page they create. We want professional historians to be able to use Clio to share their own work while still maintaining some control of their intellectual property. As a result, contributors may remove their content at any time. You can learn more about this license by clicking the link below.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

What if someone modifies my entry?

Because Clio is a collaborative project, we anticipate that entries will improve over time. Users may “subscribe” to any entry in Clio in order to be notified when another user modifies a particular entry. The best part-each change is captured in our database allowing users to see how historical interpretations reflect a variety of perspectives. By capturing this data, Clio also provides a living record of how historical interpretations change over time. We work to vet entries and limit editing privileges to knowledgeable and responsible contributors. Should an entry become subject to vandalism, please let us know and we will investigate and take the appropriate action to restore the entry to its previous state and prevent further occurrences.

An entry includes copyrighted material without permission-what can I do to correct or report this?

No one can own history, but everyone should have the option of controlling the content they created. If you find something that violates a copyright, please submit a correction that removes the content from the website and/or provides the correct attribution or link. You may also flag the entry using the “report entry” tab that appears at the bottom of each entry. (users must be logged in to see this tab). After the entry is flagged, our administrators will review the entry and take the appropriate action.

When will Clio host entries for countries beyond the United States?

We hope to attract resources that would allow us to host entries throughout the world. If you would like to expedite this process by donating resources or content, please let us know.