The goal of the hackathon is to develop a compelling user interface for the digital images and texts related to the Free Speech Movement that the Bancroft Library is making available through an API. This user interface should allow users to pursue real research questions, and engage with the material in new ways. Each group will present their project before a panel of judges on Saturday, April 12. The winning group will present their project before a public audience later that day as part of Cal Day (see the event schedule for details).

The following requirements and guidelines apply:

Entries must:

  • increase online access to the content in the FSM digital archive.
  • be based on the API for the FSM digital archive.
  • use any non-proprietary platform or programming language (e.g. no ASP.NET).
  • be finished or submitted "as is" by the end of the coding period:
  • not be indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, or disrespectful in any way.
  • comply with campus security and accessibility policies.

Teams must:

  • be made up of currently registered (spring 2014) students at UC Berkeley.
  • contain at least 1 humanist and at least 1 computer science student.
    • A "humanist" is defined here as an undergraduate student with a declared major in any departments in the Division of Arts & Humanities, or the History Department, or Linguistics; or, a graduate student affiliated with one of those departments.
    • A computer science student is defined here as an undergraduate with a declared major in EECS, CSE, or CS, or a graduate student affiliated with the CS division or the I-School.
  • contain no more than 4 members total.
  • have members who have registered to participate in HackFSM.
    • Participants may register for HackFSM as a pre-defined team, or as individuals who will later form a team.


A team of coding mentors will be available to all teams participating in the HackFSM events. Mentors will be available in person at the kick-off event, and available throughout the hackathon timeframe (April 1-12, 2014) on a limited basis to answer questions and provide guidance.


  • All entries will be judged against specific judging criteria.
  • Each participating team will have the same amount of time as all of the other competing teams to develop a fully or partially functional web interface.
  • Each team will have the same amount of time to present to the judges their entry at the end of the coding period.
  • All entries must be submitted at the end of the coding period:  April 12, 2014 at 12 pm.
  • All entries must be presented by a team member participant at the HackFSM judging session that same day, otherwise the submission will not be reviewed by the judges and participants will not be eligible for prizes.
  • Presentation order for teams will be randomly assigned at 11:45 AM on April 12.
  • One or more entries may be selected to be deployed using university resources for a period of 18 months. This may or may not include the winning entry.
  • All decisions of the judges are made at the judges’ sole discretion and are final in all matters relating to the HackFSM events.

#HackFSM was a one-time event held in April 2014. The winning site is now available. A white paper on #HackFSM has also been published, with practical information for other libraries that are interested in holding hackathons.