September 3

The project I was most intrigued by that my group viewed during class was The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, featured on Miriam Posner’s post, “How Did They Make That?” I liked its elegant simplicity and ease of use, as well as its very powerful ability to allow the user to visualize the relatively limited safe options that were available to African American travelers just a mere sixty years ago. I doubt the guide itself has been seen by many today. Once easily accessible, resources like this now live in archives and antique stores. By featuring this important book, the creators have helped to bring to light the painfully recent history of discrimination in the U.S. According to Posner, the creators used Google Fusion Tables, Google Maps, and some JavaScript, in order to get the map to display properly.


I love resources that serve as road trip guides, giving the user the opportunity to not only read about destinations, but visit them, allowing for the ability to discover hidden treasures that may be right in their own backyards. Another example of this is one of favorite sites, Atlas Obscura. Projects such as these quite literally bring history to life. Atlas Obscura is a more basic, yet extensive site, with contributed articles accompanied by photos and Google Map widgets.


Another site I’ve recently discovered is The Quipu Project, an incredibly gorgeous and impactful way to present oral history from a DH platform. The introduction alone made me cry. The site, featuring indigenous oral testimonies from victims of Peru’s forced sterilization program, uses to frame the project a digital quipu, an adaptation of a traditional method of remembering the watersheds in the native oral tradition. The combination of audio and video, as well as the interactive aspect of the site are very powerful, and serve to shed light on an ugly time in the country’s very recent history.


All three of these projects feature aspects of DH that I find attractive and would be open to using in my own project. When I was looking at the Green Book, I was thinking about how much I would love to see a similar, interactive map of current, stable sideshow acts and museums, as well as locations of historic dime museums, and other related destinations of interest. Photos of the locations and exhibits, and oral histories and interviews from performers, managers, and museum directors could be included on the site.


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