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

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.

Leave a Reply