Archive for the ‘Digital projects’ Category

CVHR Meeting (December 13, 2018): Seeing Virginia History through Digital Lenses

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Ed Ayers, professor and President Emeritus at the University of Richmond, spoke to us about how digital projects can reveal history in new ways.  Starting at UVA twenty-five years ago with the Valley of the Shadow project and continuing to the present with his work with the Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL) at the University of Richmond, Ed illustrated the ways in which digital projects can not only generate books (in his case, prize-winning ones), but can contribute to “history on a human scale”; everyone can be included in the story.  By getting a grip on the particular, we can learn about larger patterns.

He showed us several projects of the DSL, such as those on Congressional elections and the forced migration of enslaved people, within American Panorama, a digital atlas of US history that embeds local history into national and international patterns.  Ed finished by describing his work in progress, Southern Journey, The Migrations of the American South, 1790-1920, in which digital maps conjure up a region that has been far from static, its people in constant motion.

Here are links to the Valley of the Shadow, American Panorama, and a new connection engine, Bunk: Rewiring American History.

CVHR Meeting (January 4, 2018): Creating a Historical Map of Albemarle County

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Erik Irtenkauf has offered to generate an interactive historical web map of Albemarle County to include sites reflecting the research of CVHR members.  He anchored a lively discussion that ranged far beyond merely adding locations, events, and people to the map.  We explored what the scope and methodology of such a project might be and acknowledged the need to be compatible with similar projects in the state (Preservation Virginia is developing a Historic African American Schools Survey in ArcGIS and the Louisa County Historical Society has a mapping project to locate slaves in 1860, among other things ).

Further discussion will be ongoing.  Comments and/or questions are welcome.


CVHR Meeting (December 7, 2017): Telling the Ivy Creek Story with Story Maps

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Story maps are web pages that blend interactive maps with photos and text.  Erik Irtenkauf demonstrated his story map of the history of the Ivy Creek Natural Area.  Digital maps and aerial photographs, supplemented by explanatory text and historical documents, show how freed slave Hugh Carr gradually acquired the acreage that became River View Farm and passed it on to his children.  Erik is expanding the story to include the post-Civil War African American community of Hydraulic Mills-Union Ridge.  And a time slider will soon make the depiction of change over time even easier to access.  You can see the Ivy Creek story map at  Erik will present “Albemarle’s History Story Mapping” at the Ivy Creek Natural Area on Sunday, April 8th at 2 PM.

CVHR Meeting (Sep. 7, 2017): Afro-Virginia Digital Landscapes

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

We heard about new General Assembly- and NEH-supported projects at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and how the latest technology is being used.  Director of African American programs, Justin Reid, told us about ELA (Explored Landscapes of Afro-Virginia), an ambitious project to expand and enhance content in the present African American Historic Sites Database (  Director of Encyclopedia Virginia (EV), Peter Hedlund, focused on ways EV is augmenting textual entries with primary documents, audio, 3D objects, and Virtual Reality (VR) tours.  He brought a number of VR headsets for us to sample tours.  It was heartening to see so many hands go up when Peter asked who in the audience has used EV (