Recovering the Past through Digital History
Department of History
Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis
Monday, April 18
Hall Center Seminar Room 1
3:30pm - 5:00pm
"Recovering the Past through Digital History" explores the ways in which historians have been exploring digital tools for both research and teaching. Seeking to define how the definition of what constitutes "digital history" might challenge historical methodology and how we might begin constructing a future of scholarship built upon values of collaboration and open source, public scholarship, this presentation will explore two current projects, “O Say Can You See”: the Early Washington, D.C. Law and Family ProjectOSCYS) and Transforming the Afro-Caribbean World. OSCYS explores multi-generational black and white family networks in early Washington, D.C., by collecting, digitizing, making accessible, and analyzing over 4,000 case files from the D.C. court from 1808 to 1815, records of Md. courts, and related documents about these families. Uncovering the web of litigants, jurists, legal actors, and participants in this community, and by placing these family networks in the foreground of our interpretive framework of slavery and national formation, OSCYS offers new methods for historians to uncover fragmentary histories of oppressed peoples. The Transforming the Afro-Caribbean World (TAW) project brings together scholars of the Panama Canal, Afro-Caribbean history, and experts in the digital humanities, data modeling, and visualization to facilitate a large-scale effort to explore Afro-Caribbean labor, migration, and the Panama Canal.