The History Project started as a passion project after the CEO and founder, Niles Lichtenstein, discovered a crate of his late father’s records. Niles sifted through each one, and as he listened to the tinny notes strain, it brought him back to a time where him and his father were together again, riding in the car on the way to an Oakland A’s game. That night he decided he wanted to know more and wanted to reconnect with the man who loved and shaped him for his first 13 years before succumbing to cancer.
Niles set out to learn as much as he could about his father. After sorting through hundreds of photos, talking to friends and family to get the oral history of those who knew him best, and even embarking on a 90-day journey to relive his father’s days in Queens, Boston, Vietnam and San Francisco, he was left mentally tired but spiritually lifted. When he went to share his father’s story with his fiance, mom and brother, that intense journey was reduced to a set of clickable files in a folder in the cloud.
Underwhelmed and heartbroken that he couldn't relate this rich experience, Niles became obsessed with reinventing the time capsule. Niles believed with all the technology and tools available, there had to be a better way to take the set of fragmented physical and digital assets scattered across our lives and unify them in a meaningful narrative to ensure our greatest human resource, our history, wouldn’t be lost.
Niles worked closely with his co-founder Ben Yee, who was becoming a father for the first time, to develop a platform where anyone could piece together parts of their own history and bring it back to life. The History Project empowers you to build your own modern time capsule to reconnect to the media and moments that matter in the story of your life, the life of others and the groups you care most about. From the photo album in the basement, to the wedding announcement in your email, to your favorite high school songs in your Spotify player or tape deck - our history that’s been a set of disconnected pieces scattered across digital and physical worlds can now be weaved together into a meaningful story.
We believe that capturing our life stories shouldn’t be as fragmented and overwhelming as it is. As a society, we can’t afford to lose the incredible human resource of our history. Our mission is to ensure our memories and stories don’t vanish into basements or the fast-moving digital stream. The History Project is changing how we capture and share narratives for individuals, groups and organizations. We are empowering users to take control of their digital and physical assets and build them into tangible, shareable stories.
The platform has earned some notable early adopters, including musician Jewel, who's using it as an authentic way to share her life as a multi-media companion to her autobiography, Never Broken; the HBO film "The Diplomat," which chronicles the life of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, whose personal history project offers never-before-seen articles, family photos and memories of the man responsible for brokering the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia; and The Dallas Morning News, which is using the platform to showcase its 130th Anniversary.