On April 1, I’ll be giving two talks on Digital Harlem at the University of Pennsylvania.
Behind the Scenes at Digital Harlem
Tools-and-Techniques in the Digital Humanities, Digital Humanities Forum
LOCATION: Penn Library
Digital Harlem is one of the earliest digital history projects to use Google Maps to visualize a range of historical sources, with the particular goal of exploring everyday life in the most famous black neighborhood of the 1920s. In this talk Stephen Robertson will discuss the process that produced the site, highlighting the contingencies, choices and failures that shaped the project, as well as the ways that Digital Harlem does not conform to the commonly held picture of large digital humanities projects.
The Differences Digital Mapping Made: Thinking Spatially about Race and Sexuality in 1920s Harlem
Richard Shryock Lecture in American History
LOCATION: 209 College Hall
Digital Mapping, like the use of other digital tools, raises questions rather than provides answers. In the case of Digital Harlem, some of those questions concern the character of the neighborhood’s nightlife and residences, and where individuals spent their time. The answers to those questions reveal that homes provided more privacy than reformers recognized, allowing residents to engage in a wide range of sexualities. At the same time, outside the home, black residents regularly encountered whites, whose presence throughout the neighborhood made interracial encounters and conflicts an everyday feature of life in the nation’s most famous ‘black metropolis.’
The server at the University of Sydney that has been home to Digital Harlem has been shut down, and the site has been migrated to a new server. The site’s new address is: http://digitalharlem.org
The move has been a complex one, and unfortunately the site is not yet functioning; we hope to have it back up soon
Our article, “Harlem in Black and White: Mapping Race and Place in the 1920s,” has now appeared in the Journal of Urban History, vol. 35, no. 9, September 2013, pages 864-880. The abstract and a related map can be found in an earlier post announcing the acceptance of the article for publication in 2011.
Nicholas Grant, of the University of East Anglia, reviews Digital Harlem in the IHR’s Reviews in History for 25 July 2013. The publication offers authors the chance to repond, which I did. The review offers an interesting, user-focused perspective on the site.
A two-page spread on Digital Harlem appears in the Winter 2013 issue of New York Archives. The article offers a brief introduction to the site, using as examples a map of nightlife and two maps discussed in posts on this blog: prostitution in 1925 & 1930; and Morgan Thompson’s work sites.
In December 2012 & January 2013, I will be giving a series of talks on Digital Harlem in the US & UK:
“Digital Harlem,” Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University, December 11, 2012
“Mapping Everyday Life: Digital Harlem, 1915-1930,” Digital History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, January 8, 2013
“Digital Harlem: Researching and Mapping Everyday Life in 1920s Harlem,” Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, January 9, 2013
“Harlem in Black and White: Mapping Race and Place in the 1920s,” Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham, January 14, 2013
“Joining the Crowd: Connecting a Digital History Project to the Web,” Data – Asset – Method Network Workshop – So you think you’re an expert?, University of Nottingham, January 15, 2013