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Grant number: PW-234665-16

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PW-234665-16

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)
Alexandra Stern (Project Director: 07/16/2015 to present)

Digital Histories of Eugenic Sterilization: Developing a Multi-Modal Prototype and Best Practices for Sensitive Health Data

Planning and development of a prototype for an online database, with digital research tools, for 18,000 medical records documenting the history of involuntary sterilization in California from 1921 to 1953.

Working with a unique resource—18,000 patient records from California institutions from the period 1921 to 1953—our  project seeks to make the history of eugenic sterilization visible, accessible, and interactive through the creative and integrated use of digital platforms, big data analysis, data visualization, and digital storytelling. These records were microfilmed by the California Department of State Hospitals in the 1970s and only recently discovered.  Over a 24-month period from summer 2016 to summer 2018, we will: a) convene a workshop on best practices with our advisory board; b) work closely with the project’s digital librarian to develop a prototype; c) evaluate this prototype with a heterogeneous group of users through two usability studies based at the Co-PIs’ respective institutions; d) produce a white paper that articulates potential best practices around digital uses of sensitive medical data; and e) develop a work plan for full-scale implementation of the resource and integration of sterilization records from additional states.

Project fields:
History of Science

Program:
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2016 – 6/30/2018