Return to the toolkit


TimelineJS is an online tool for creating media-rich, interactive timelines. Developed by the Knight Lab at Northwestern University, the tool allows users to compose a sequence of dates, text, images, audio, video, and links to create a multimedia timeline. The underlying data is stored in Google Sheets spreadsheets, making this a perfect candidate for collaborative student work.

Why Use TimelineJS?

  • Because the underlying data is stored in Google Sheets, which can be shared with any number of students, TimelineJS is a particularly good choice for small scale, collaborative course digital projects.
  • A timeline provides a visual representation of the occurrence of events through time, but it can also spur discussion about the meaning and reliability of concrete start and end points depicted in such timelines.
  • In addition to placing discrete events along a linear timeline, TimelineJS also allows for themed layers of events. The creation and display of these layers can help students explore how one event may have impacted others.

How to Add TimelineJS to Your Course:

TimelineJS is available online free-of-charge. The McGraw Center can provide training and assistance to Princeton courses using TimelineJS.  Contact for more information.


Additional Resources:

Posted by April 28, 2020