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University of Oregon (Eugene, OR 97403-5219)
Daniel Blake Rosenberg (Project Director: January 2020 to present)
Anthony Grafton (Co Project Director: May 2020 to present)
Time Online II: The Time Charts of Joseph Priestley

The digital reconstruction of historical infographics, specifically the timelines originally designed by British polymath Joseph Priestley in the 18th century. 

Timelines are powerful and intuitive tools of data visualization, but their visual clarity masks technical and historical complexity. As project investigators Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton argue in their book, Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline, the measured, linear timeline format that is so familiar today first emerged only in the eighteenth century at the start of the period of rapid innovation that established the main visual vocabulary of our contemporary infographic environment. Our project, “Time Online II: The Time Charts of Joseph Priestley,” studies the foundational time charts of the eighteenth century and derives from them lessons for both history and information design. We achieve this by reverse engineering eighteenth-century time charts to understand their rules and by employing tools from digital cartography to reconstruct them as interactive devices for the Web.

Project fields:
History of Science

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants

Digital Humanities

$99,985 (approved)
$99,985 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2020 – 2/28/2023