Timbs on African Studies in the Digital Age | CHI MSU

Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog (Archived)

Liz Timbs reflects on the number of digital humanities panels at the African Studies Association Annual meeting:

“Unfortunately, when I say that numerous scholars commented on this need, numerous refers to a few handfuls of scholars that I encountered.  Compared to other scholarly meetings, ASA is lagging behind in their number of panels dedicated to the subject.  Harvard College postdoctoral fellow Carla D. Martin noted that at last year’s MLA meeting, there were sixty-six panels on digital humanities.  When I searched for panels incorporating digital technologies at last week’s American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, over 100 results came back.  At ASA, there were six. Yes, that’s right: just six panels.  It is critical that the Association and the academic community as a whole begins to more substantially engage with the prospect of digital humanities….”

Read the rest: African Studies in the Digital Age | Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative

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Tweets from the Atlantic Slave Biographies Database Conference at #MSU

Tweets from the Atlantic Slave Biographies Database Conference (#ASBDmsu) held at Michigan State University, November 8-9, 2013.

Livetweeting courtesy of African Diaspora, Ph.D. on Twitter (@afrxdiasporaphd)

For more information, see here CONF: Biographies: Atlantic Slave Database Conference at MSU | African Diaspora, Ph.D. http://bit.ly/HSdWHA

WEB/SOURCE: Joan Peters’ Slave and Free Negro Records Digitized

via Prince William County, Virginia Digital Library

“The latest addition to our Digital Library is Joan W. Peters’ work, Slave and Free Negro Records from the Prince William County Court Minute and Order Books, 1752-1763, 1766-1769, 1804-1806, 1812-1814, 1833-1865 (Broad Run, Va.: Albemarle Research, 1996). Click on the following link http://eservice.pwcgov.org/library/digitalLibrary/index.htm and find it under Historic Records, 1700-1800. It covers all mentions of African Americans found in those records, including registrations of slaves and free Negroes, emancipations, arrests and lawsuits. The database is keyword searchable (use CTRL+F). It does not cover persons mentioned in deeds, wills, inventories, sales or tax lists. There are also gaps in the court minutes as shown in the years of coverage. We are grateful to Joan for allowing us to post her work online.”

For more: Historic Wanderings: PWC RELIC Digitizes Peters’ Slave and Free Negro Records from the Prince William County Court Minute and Order Books, 1752-1763, 1766-1769, 1804-1806, 1812-1814, 1833-1865.

CONF: Biographies: Atlantic Slave Database Conference at MSU


Biographies: Atlantic Slave Database Conference

Michigan State University

November 8th & 9th 2013

“In 2011, with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, MSU’s History Department and MATRIX initiated Biographies: The Atlantic Slave Data Network (ASDN). We seek to provide a platform for researchers to upload, analyze, visualize, and utilize data they have collected, and to link it to other databases which together will complement each other in ways to create a much richer resource than the individual databases alone. There is a significant need for such a collaborative research platform. During the past two decades, there has been a seismic change in perception about what we can know about African slaves and their descendants throughout the Atlantic World (Africa, Europe, North and South America). Scholars have realized that, far from being either non-existent or extremely rare, various types of rich documentation about African slaves abound in archives, courthouses, newspapers, prisons, churches, government offices, museums, ports, and private collections. Since the 1980s, a number of major databases were constructed in original digital format and used in major publications of their creators. But they have lacked a platform for preservation and therefore are at risk of being lost as their creators retire. A growing number of collections of original manuscript documents have been digitized and are beginning to be made accessible free of charge over the Web. However, our task as historians is more than to preserve images of primary sources, but to interpret those sources by finding new ways to organize, share, mine and analyze as well as to preserve original materials which might otherwise be discarded or lost…”

Conference program is here.

The website is live and available here.

NOTE: African Diaspora, Ph.D. will be livetweeting a number of the panels. Follow @afrxdiasporaphd or the hashtag #ASBDmsu for more!

Visualizing/Mapping 1860s Rio (Brazil)

Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog (Archived)

Zephyr Frank at Stanford University is using GIS to study Brazil:
We are creating a geographically precise digitized map of 1866 Rio de Janeiro with historically accurate delineations of streets and property—which include over 15,000 parcels in the central parishes. More than 300,000 historic records including names, addresses, and other detailed information covering the period 1840-1890 are also being organized in a database to reveal interconnections, networks, movement, and change over time. The digitized maps and data created by the project provide the spatially-oriented resources for dynamic visualizations that will inform historical analysis as well as illustrate key findings. Extensions of the project into the twentieth century, through 1930, are planned in the years to come.

This project is one of three urban history/geography research groups in the Stanford Humanities Center: Digital Initiatives. At UNICAMP in Campinas, São Paulo, the Cecult research group is studying the spatial history of…

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