The development of a digital atlas seeking to demonstrate how the spread of emancipation of enslaved people occurred during the US Civil War.
The Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond proposes Landscapes of the American Past,an online atlas of American history, as a tool for organizing and interpreting a part of the outpouring of digital materials over the past twenty years and as a tool for thinking spatially about the past. In the start-up period, we will produce "Landscapes of Emancipation," the first detailed map of emancipation yet published, and answer questions about when, where, and how emancipation emerged from the Civil War. In doing so, we will also address a question of increasing interest in the digital humanities: how can we produce maps that rely on and support open resources while at the same time creating effective and elegant visualizations that convey scholarly arguments? We will publish our findings online as a mapping application, in peer-reviewed essays, as freely accessible data and metadata, and in a white paper addressing the methodology of visualizing historical arguments.