DiSC announces three new projects for 2012-13

Published 06-25-2012

The Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC) at the Emory Libraries announces the selection of three new projects, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that will be the focus of DiSC's work during the 2012-2013 academic year. The projects will be closely connected with the Library, its collections at the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) and its staff as a whole.

•  Digital Atlanta: Mapping Tool: This project will create a digital tool to visualize and analyze historical Atlanta by providing new ways to integrate spatial and non-spatial data in research and the classroom. This project will create an application similar to Google Maps, but it will be a digital research tool for Atlanta from the late 1920s through the early 1950s. A geocoder transforms data such as addresses into locations so they can be quickly plotted on a map. The geocoder will assign addresses and map all of the 250,000 building footprints in Atlanta and its environs in 1930. Students, faculty, and researchers can then add layers and tag attributes to a series of addresses in the historic city. This combination of GIS technology and unique datasets will change the way Jim Crow Atlanta is studied. Those involved in the project include geospatial librarian Michael Page and Randy Gue, MARBL curator of modern political and historical collections.

•  Digital Atlanta: Mapping the Battle: This project will construct a mobile experience and multimedia website centered on the Battle of Atlanta. As the sesquicentennial of the Battle approaches in 2014, people interested in exploring the movement of troops and the most significant sites associated with the Battle encounter a vastly changed landscape. Upon completion, "Mapping the Battle" will locate these features on an interactive map, connecting them with written text, an archive of primary documents, and historical photographs about the Battle itself and successive veterans' reunions and commemorations. The project will also expose insights by participants often marginalized in traditional accounts, including women, slaves, and union sympathizers. Those involved include ILA associate professor Allen Tullos and Daniel Pollock, a CDC doctor and Civil War buff.

•  Networking The Belfast Group: This project will create a new version of The Belfast Group website, adding an interactive interface to explore the poets' literary/social network, as manifested in correspondence and in-person workshops. The data for this interface will come from applied enhancements to the Emory Finding Aids, using Natural Language Programming and Semantic Web technologies. Such technologies will allow website organizers to quantify the connections and collaborations among these authors in a way that might provide new insights into their writing and into the role of communities of authorship. Looking beyond the Belfast Group, similar networks could be documented for other literary groups using the tools and results of this project, which will be released as open-source software. Those working on the project include senior software engineer Rebecca Sutton Koeser.