Davidson’s Imbibable Past

{Cross Posted on the Davidson Archives blog}


Lewis Bell came to Davidson College in 1865 and graduated in 1870. Though he was a student during the Reconstruction Era, it is likely that most of his college experiences were mundane. He was a member of the Eumenean Literary Society. Among his papers held in the college archive is a donation request from the society from the year after he graduated. Like many Davidson students, he also seems to have been concerned with his grades. His papers also contain a list of Davidson College students and their grade averages from 1865 to 1868. We know little more about Bell’s time at Davidson, except that he also seemed to have an interest in spirituous liquors. A final item in the John Lewis Bell collection is a well-used recipe for “Mother’s Bitters,” which was comprised of “tanzy, Wormwood and Barbary Root, a good handful of Star root, the same of Columbo and Chamomile.”


Bitters are an aromatic flavoring agent, made by infusing roots, bark, fruit peels, herbs, flowers and botanicals in alcohol. These spirits are used in fancy craft cocktails today, but were historically put to more medicinal purposes. In his history of bitters, Brad Thomas Parsons situates these infused spirits in a long history of “a cure for whatever ailed you” – beginning with Stroughton Bitters, which were patented in 1712, and which contained “1/2 drachm cochineal, 1 pint alcohol, ½ canella bark, ½ ounce cardamoms” and were made by being left to “stand eight days; draw it off clear and bottle it. For medicinal purposes use French Brandy instead of alcohol.” (From Monzert, Leonard. The Independent Liquorist: Or, The Art of Manufacturing and Preparing All Kinds of Cordials, Syrups, Bitters, Wines … John F. Trow & Company, 1866.)

Why would Bell have kept a recipe for bitters amongst his Davidson paraphernalia? He might have been keen on bitters for recreational imbibing purposes. Americans were certainly interested in mixed drinks during the years that Bell attended Davidson, and cocktails had a long history. People in England in the eighteenth century were known to mix patent bitters with brandy, and by 1806 the word “cocktail” had developed to mean “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters.” However, in the latter decades of the nineteenth century, Davidson College was very concerned with limiting students’ access to alcohol. It prohibited the sale of alcohol in college-owned properties, and brought suit against stores that sold spirits to undergraduates. Perhaps Bell was unable to buy bitters for cocktails in the town, and had to resort to making them himself.

Bell might equally have been using “Mother’s Bitters” as a patent medicine. In the late nineteenth century bitters were sold as a remedy for all manner of ills. In 1866, the American Agriculturalist noted that bitters could aid in “weak digestion or a debilitated state of the system, if properly taken under medical advice.” Similarly, Rowney in Boston (1892) spoke to the benefits of “mother’s bitters, made of dandelion root, and such wholesome things.” In her study of alcohol and botanicals, Amy Stewart writes that from the eighteenth-century forward, people “realized that adding wormwood to wine and other distilled spirits actually improved the flavor or at least help disguise the stench of crude, poorly made alcohol.” Chamomile, barberry root and tansy also have practical purposes – all work as anti-inflammatories, and chamomile additionally works as a sedative. The combination of herbs in “Mother’s Bitters” consequently seem to have been medically beneficial. Perhaps Bell was in need of an anti-inflammatory, or means of calming an upset stomach. There were several stores on Main Street in the 1870s that might have sold bitters, but the college’s prohibition against the sale of alcohol might just as well have prevented Bell from purchasing them in town.

The Scofield Store was one among a few stores that might have sold bitters on Davidson’s Main Street.

So, while he might have been collecting recipes in order engage in an illicit cocktail culture, Bell might also have been trying to make a well-known remedy for a “weak destitution” or “debilitated system.”

Although Bell’s use of the “Mother’s Bitters” recipe can never be known, we can still get at Bell’s experience. I recreated Bell’s recipe, using dried herbs and roots, and steeped the whole mixture in alcohol for two weeks. The resulting concoction was distinctly flavored. It didn’t taste like the bitters we use in cocktails today. Rather, it had an anise flavor, not dissimilar from pernod. This is due to the combination of wormwood (which, on its own has a menthol-like flavor), tansy (which tastes like peppermint), chamomile, barberry root, and star anise (which has a warm flavor, and was often included in absinthe along with wormwood). On a recent Monday night, a group of faculty and staff drank our “Mother’s bitters” in seltzer. We experienced it as a largely medicinal taste, and found that the smell of wormwood did indeed obscure other scents. While knowing what the bitters taste like doesn’t get us much closer to Bell’s everyday experiences of Davidson, it does help us bridge the divide between the 1870s and the present, and to imagine how a Reconstruction-era Davidson student might have imbibed.The finished bitters

d3.js + R > Gephi (or, why network analysis helps with history)

Gephi is a very useful tool.  I’m very much looking forward to the new release that seems always on the horizon.  In the meantime, though, every time I open Gephi it crashes, and then I dive down a long rabbit hole of trying to re-write the program code, and then I get angry and go home.  So I’ve been delighted to find that a combination of R (for manipulating and analyzing the data) and d3.js (for visualizing the data) does most of the work of Gephi with much less frustration.

I’ve been using Kieran Healy’s work on Paul Revere and network centrality and applying it to a cohort of men who served on the boards of philanthropic organizations in New York in the 1840s. I am particularly in the officers General Relief Committee for the Relief of Irish Distress of the City of New York. These men – Myndert Van Schiack, John Jay, Jacob Harvey, George Griffin, Theodore Sedgewick, Robert B. Minturn, George Barclay, Alfred Pell, James Reyburn, William Redmond and George McBride Jr. – were deeply politically connected, but don’t seem to have had much of a relationship to one another.

Healy’s script, and Mike Bostock’s d3 blocks helped me to build a matrix which tracked relationships between philanthropists via organizations, making note of the number of organizational connections that different pairs of men shared; and another matrix which tracked relationships between philanthropic organizations and social clubs via philanthropists, making note of the number of men that each organization shared.  I used the former to build a force-directed network diagram, which, in combination with some R based analysis, suggests that while the New York Famine Relief Committee officers didn’t often serve on other committees together, they shared other social connections.

For example Jonathan Goodhue was not a member of the famine relief committee, but served on other committees with nearly every General Relief Committee officer.  Of the New York famine relief committee members, Jacob Harvey was the most centrally connected member.  This data has pointed me in some new archival directions, but also give a much better sense of the ways in which people were connected to one another than comparable textual descriptions might do.



I also built a network diagram showing relationships among different newspapers reporting on the famine, which cluster newspapers more inclined to cite each other.


From the archive

From the Antigua Observer of July 22nd, 1847:

BRITISH OFFICERS ROASTED ALIVE AND DEVOURED BY CANNIBALS – A letter has been received in London, from an officer of H.M. war steamer Driver, detailing the particulars of an engagement between the British and the New Zealanders, in which ten men of the Carton frigate were killed, and thirteen wounded, exclusive of several men of the 89th regiment.  The savages roasted alive two European officers, whom they devoured.  The writer adds the additional melancholy intelligence of Lieut. Philpotts, the son of the Bishop of Exeter, having been scalped, roasted and eaten by the Zealanders.  Shortly after his melancholy fate, the eye glass of the gallant officer was found hear the spot where he was murdered and devoured.

A year of #dh and the Davidson archives

(Cross-posted at Around the D)

Over the past two semesters, I’ve had the privilege of trying out some new course ideas that blended digital humanities and archival work.  The challenge of bringing #dh into archives and archives into #dh is that it can actually be quite a chore to translate historical data – as transcribed in minute books, maps, or letters – into a form that works for #dh visualizations and research.  This year, I had two students whose projects used “analog” material from the Davidson Archives to create interesting and captivating digital artifacts, each of which showcased something new about Davidson history.  These projects speak for themselves, but I thought I’d say a little about the process that each undertook to get from poring over manuscripts in the rare books room to these digital explorations of Davidson’s past.

Mapping Davidson’s Environmental History

Sarah Roberts, a senior Environmental Studies major, undertook the impressive task of charting Davidson’s environmental development over time.  Using maps like this one

Davidson shrubbery, 1983-4

– and many more besides, she created a series of visualizations that documented different aspects of Davidson’s environmental history at different points in time.  This was not an easy process.  For each of the maps she used, she had to trace the outlines of important features (buildings, athletics fields, a briefly-present lake) and color code them according to their purpose.

She brought all of these together in an environmental studies capstone project, but also in a dynamic website which takes users through the spatial history of Davidson College and a bit of the town.



Mapping Davidson’s Institutional History

Avery Haller, a senior anthropology major also used the Davidson archives, but instead of tracking Davidson’s spatial history, she was interested in the college’s social and institutional history.  Avery used the minutes of the Concord Presbytery, the Presbyterian group which was prompted by “the closing of Liberty Hall Academy (now Washington and Lee University) due to a massive fire” to found “a new place close to home to send their young men to school.”

Using documents like this one (which, happily, were transcribed):

Concord Presbytery Minutes-March 1835


she was able to extract social networks – the ties that bound the various men (and they were all men) involved in Davidson’s founding together. (She describes the technical part of this process here)


The finished network

Ultimately, Avery concluded that both a close reading of the sources and a systematic analysis of connections among Davidson’s founders revealed “a picture of Davidson … that blend[ed] conservative values and an entrepreneurial spirit.”


Together, these projects point to the innovative work that can emerge when traditional historical materials are deployed in new ways.  However, both of these projects took an extraordinary amount of time to accomplish – since before they could begin their analysis, both Avery and Sarah had to render historical “data” legible for digital tools.  As one student noted in my class’s final presentations “As most of you have found, data entry is kind of tedious,” but I hope that these projects can help convince students and researchers alike that the intersection of #dh and archives can lead to some fruitful and interesting results.

(text)mapping Typhoid Mary

The inimitable David McClure came to Davidson last week to talk to students and faculty about Neatline, things DH and app development.  While speaking in Mark’s class, he introduced textplot – a neat little tool that produces a co-occurrence network of words in a text, depending on whether they occur in proximity to one another. I’m working on a Neatline map of George Soper’s account of his role in the pursuit and medical incarceration of Mary Mallon – better known as Typhoid Mary – but I hadn’t thought much about Soper’s text as a literary text – I’d been treating it much more as a spatially oriented primary source.

Here’s a first stab at running textplot over “The Curious Career…” – it’s an oddly rambling visualization because the text itself is so short, and proceeds at such a rapid clip.  Soper does not often return to a theme he has already introduced, leaving little for textplot to pick up on in terms of recurring clusters of words. However, the centrality of some words (explained, examined) are a nice visual reminder that, despite acknowledging her humanity at several points, Soper was largely approaching Mary Mallon as a medical specimen.

Hopefully a more traditional (spatial) map of Soper will follow shortly.


I’m taking a look again at the citation networks that famine newspapers were embedded in.  In the past four years, dynamic network visualization has become much easier, leading to things like this, thanks to Google Fusion Tables:

Previously, the closest I could get was a visualization that this (this one is based on co-occuring words in the bibliography of the diss):

Shrout references

Times, changing.

Digital Projects at the AHA (now with projects from THATCamp)

As many others have pointed out – on Twitter, in blog posts, and in person – this was a good year for digital at the AHA, and a great year for some wonderful and innovative digital projects.  I’ve been compiling a list of projects mentioned on Twitter and in panels, and I thought I’d share them here (in no particular order).  I’m sure it’s not complete- and that other wonderful digital projects were debuted and mentioned at the AHA.  I’d be happy to add to the list, if folks want to tweet their projects.

Digital History at #AHA2015

In the spirit of Mark Sample’s list of digital humanities events at the MLA, here’s a list of digital history panels at the upcoming AHA:

Friday, January 2nd

Getting Started in Digital History Workshop

Friday, January 2, 2015: 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Conference Room E (Sheraton New York, Lower Level)

Our Getting Started in Digital History workshop last year brought historians with an interest in using digital tools and resources together with experts in a range of digital-history methodologies. This year, we’re providing another round of introductory overview sessions, but we’re also expanding the workshop to include intermediate hands-on workshops. For all of our attendees, we have an overview of digital history as a whole and the state of digital history funding, and a brief look at the importance of collaboration and project management in digital history. Jennifer Serventi of the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities will talk about the work that the ODH does to support digital scholarship. There will also be introductory sessions on preparing research data for digital history projects, making use of various digital tools and methodologies to ask new research questions, building and managing the collaborative aspects of digital history, and using digital tools in the classroom and in public-history endeavors. If you have a little experience but need some hands-on help to get your digital history project kickstarted, we have several sessions that focus on a single methodology and tool set. If you’re interested in big data applied to primary sources, we have workshops on text mining, network theory and visualization, and historical GIS and spatial history. For historians focused on collaborative efforts, we also have hands-on sessions for project sustainability and management, and teaching with digital tools.

The workshop is free, but space is limited, so please sign up when you register for the annual meeting. We look forward to seeing you there.


AHA Session 2 – Teaching and Learning the Great War in the Digital Age

Friday, January 2, 2015: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Beekman Parlor (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: Lynn Rainville, Sweet Briar College



  1. Katie Gulledge, Cary Academy (North Carolina)
  2. Jamie Lathan, North Carolina School of Science and Math
  3. Samantha Shires, Virginia Tech


AHA Session 42 – Digital Tools: From the Archive to Publication

Friday, January 2, 2015: 3:30 PM-5:30 PM

Beekman Parlor (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: Leah Weinryb Grohsgal, independent scholar



  1. Nancy Brown, Purdue University
  2. Rachel Kantrowitz, New York University
  3. Ashley Sanders, Michigan State University
  4. Nora Slonimsky, City University of New York, Graduate Center


Saturday, January 3rd


AHA Session 69 – Doing More with Less: The Promise and Pitfalls of Short-Form Scholarship in the Digital History Age

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM

New York Ballroom East (Sheraton New York, Third Floor)


Chair: Kristin Purdy, Palgrave Macmillan



  1. Kristin Purdy, Palgrave Macmillan
  2. Kathryn Nasstrom, University of San Francisco
  3. Ben Railton, Fitchburg State University
  4. Stephanie Westcott, George Mason University


AHA Session 95 – Digital Pedagogy for History: Lightning Round

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Conference Room D (Sheraton New York, Lower Level)


Chair: Mark Tebeau


Using the “lightning round” method of spreading ideas in the digital humanities, this experimental panel features one-minute expositions on innovative projects and cool ideas in digital history for teaching and learning. Five or more panelists will be invited to register via Twitter at the meeting. Audience members will also be invited to join the lightning round.



  1. Kalani Craig, Indiana University Bloomington
  2. Jason A. Heppler, Stanford University
  3. Patrick Jones, University of Nebraska–Omaha
  4. Shane Landrum, Florida International University
  5. Sharon Leon, George Mason University
  6. Jeffrey W. McClurken, University of Mary Washington
  7. Elijah Meeks, Stanford University
  8. Kathryn Tomasek, Wheaton College (Massachusetts)
  9. Tom Scheinfeldt, University of Connecticut
  10. Jesse Stommel, University of Wisconsin–Madison



Mark Tebeau, Arizona State University


AHA Session 99 – Blogging and the Future of Scholarship

Association for Computers and the Humanities 1

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Gramercy Suite A (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: Clay Risen, New York Times



  1. Sara Georgini, Boston University, Rewiring the Historian’s Craft
  2. Michelle Moravec, Rosemont College, On Writing in Public
  3. Jonathan VanAntwerpen, The Henry Luce Foundation, The Immanent Frame, Secularism Studies, and Interstitial Spaces

Comment: Clay Risen, New York Times

AHA Session 102 – Digital Histories of Slavery

Association for Computers and the Humanities 2

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Gramercy Suite B (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: Philip Misevich



  1. Edward Baptist, Cornell University, Freedom on the Move: A Database of Fugitives from North American Slavery
  2. Don Debats, Flinders University, Slavery Confronted: Using Digital History to Understand the Complexity of Slavery in a Nineteenth-Century Commercial City, Alexandria, Virginia
  3. Vanessa M Holden, Michigan State University; Jessica Johnson, Michigan State University, Taste the Sweat to Check for Sickness: The Queering Slavery Working Group and Digital Histories of Slavery
  4. William G. Thomas III, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Jennifer E. Guiliano, University of Maryland at College Park, (Dis)covering Race: Legal Records and the Fragmentary Histories of American Families

Comment: Philip Misevich, St. John’s University


AHA Session 111 – Medici Reborn: Modernizing the Renaissance Archive in a Digital Age

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Lenox Ballroom (Sheraton New York, Second Floor)


Chair: Alessio Assonitis



  1. Brendan Dooley, University College Cork, The Birth of News and the Medici Digital Archive (BIA)
  2. Piergabriele Mancuso, Medici Archive Project, Jewish History and Culture in the BIA Digital Archive: Problems and Solutions
  3. Sheila ffolliott, George Mason University, Researching Women Patrons, Collectors, and Artists in the Medici Digital Archive (BIA)
  4. Sheila Barker, Medici Archive Project, Medici Grand Duchesses and their Pharmacies
  5. Joanna Milstein, Medici Archive Project, The Construction of a New Research Program at Medici Archive Project: France and the Medici


AHA Session 149 – Visualization and Digital History: Techniques and Demonstrations

Association for Computers and the Humanities 3

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM

Beekman Parlor (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: William G. Thomas III, University of Nebraska–Lincoln



  1. Scott Nesbit, University of Richmond , The Spatial Turn of 1932: Revisiting the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States
  2. Benjamin MacDonald Schmidt, Northeastern University, Seeing Anew: Humanistic Approaches to Data Visualization
  3. Thomas Summerhill, Michigan State University , Mapping Dissent in the Civil War North: Digital History’s Potential to Recast Political History


Janice L. Reiff, University of California, Los Angeles



Sunday, January 4th


AHA Session 158 – Authoring Digital Scholarship for History: Challenges and Opportunities

Association for Computers and the Humanities 4

Sunday, January 4, 2015: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM

Beekman Parlor (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: Edward L. Ayers, University of Richmond



  1. Cameron Blevins, Stanford University, Fracture or Continuum?
  2. Adeline Koh, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Digitizing “Chinese Englishmen”: Empire, Whiteness, and the Digital Nineteenth-Century Archive
  3. Lauren Tilton, Yale University, Looking Past the Written Word: Digital Authoring and the Representation of Knowledge
  4. Yoni Appelbaum, Harvard University, Open Sources: Realizing the Potential of Hypertext for History

Comment: Edward L. Ayers, University of Richmond


AHA Session 159 – Can DH Answer Our Questions? Using Digital Humanities to Address the Concerns of Feminist Historians

Sunday, January 4, 2015: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM

Concourse A (New York Hilton, Concourse Level)

Chair: Monica L. Mercado, Bryn Mawr College



  1. Kathryn Falvo, Pennsylvania State University, Mapping the Community: ArchGIS and the History of Religious Experience
  2. Tamika Richeson, University of Virginia, Survival and Surveillance: Recovering Narratives of Black Female Criminality during the Civil War
  3. Wendy E. Chmielewski, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Her Hat Was in the Ring: Women, History, Politics, and Digital Humanities in the Twenty-First Century


American Society of Church History 17 – American Religion Online: How Digital Projects Can Change How We Teach, Research, and Interpret Religious History

Sunday, January 4, 2015: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM

Harlem Suite (New York Hilton, Fourth Floor)

Chair: John Fea, Messiah College



  1. Erin Bartram, University of Connecticut, The American Converts Database: The Database as an Expression of Scholarship on Religious History
  2. Kyle B. Roberts, Loyola University Chicago, The Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project
  3. Christopher Cantwell, University of Missouri–Kansas City, Placing Pluralism: Digital Scholarship, Public History, and the Mapping of Chicago’s Religious Diversity

Comment: John Fea, Messiah College


AHA Session 195 – Digital Scholarship, Academic Careers, and Tenure

Sunday, January 4, 2015: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM

Regent Parlor (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: Katina Rogers, City University of New York, Graduate Center



  1. Jason A. Heppler, Stanford University
  2. Mills Kelly, George Mason University
  3. Jana Remy, Chapman University
  4. Andrew J. Torget, University of North Texas


American Society of Church History Session 26 – The Digital Humanities and the Study of Christianity in Late Antiquity: Reflections on a Disciplinary Intersection

Sunday, January 4, 2015: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM

Harlem Suite (New York Hilton, Fourth Floor)


Chair: Jeanne-Nicole Saint-Laurent, Marquette University


  1. David Michelson, Vanderbilt University, Information Revolutions Past and Present: How Digital Humanities Can and Can’t Transform Scholarship on the History of Christianity in Late Antiquity
  2. Sarah Bond, Marquette University, The Social Network: Digitizing and Mapping Evidence for Greco-Roman Voluntary Associations
  3. Daniel L. Schwartz, Texas A&M University at College Station, Linked Open Data and the Promise of Syriac Prosopography

Comment: J. Edward Walters, Princeton Theological Seminary



Poster Session #1

(selected digital papers)

Sunday, January 4, 2015: 11:30 AM-2:00 PM

2nd Floor Promenade (New York Hilton, Second Floor)



From Minecraft to Mindcraft: Integrating Digital Humanities into History Courses
Amy Absher, Case Western Reserve University

Virtual Tours for Teaching History in the Digital Age
Clayton Brown, Utah State University

The Programming Historian
Fred Gibbs, University of New Mexico

The United States of AIDS: Digitizing ACT UP Oral History
Norma Juarez, New School; Guy Greenberg, New School

A Digital Reading of Twentieth-Century Demography
Emily Klancher Merchant, University of Michigan

Mapping the Creek Indian World of Spirits in the Long Nineteenth Century
Steven Peach, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

A New Database of the Moneyers from Late Anglo-Saxon and Early Anglo-Norman England
Jeremy Piercy, University of Edinburgh


Poster Session #2

(selected digital papers)

Sunday, January 4, 2015: 2:30 PM-5:00 PM

2nd Floor Promenade (New York Hilton, Second Floor)



Visualizing Saintly Commerce in the Medieval Mediterranean
Ali Akhtar, Bates College

FRANKLIN—Access to the FDR Library’s Digital Collections
Kirsten Carter, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum; Sarah Malcolm, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

Beyond Citation: Critical Thinking about Academic Databases
Eileen Clancy, City University of New York

Integrating a Video “Narrative Lab” in the History Survey Course
James Frusetta, Hampden-Sydney College

American Debates over the Meaning of Labor Unionism Examined with Digital Humanities Tools
Vilja Hulden, University of Colorado Boulder

Palmer Park: A Digital and Micro-history
Kevin McQueeney, University of New Orleans

Teaching Graduate Students to Code
Lincoln Mullen, George Mason University


Monday, January 5th


AHA Session 253 – Innovation in Digital Publishing in the Humanities

Monday, January 5, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

Beekman Parlor (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: Stephen Robertson, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media



  1. Martin Eve, University of Lincoln and Open Library of Humanities
  2. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Modern Language Association
  3. Matthew K. Gold, New York City College of Technology and City University of New York, Graduate Center
  4. Cecy Marden, Wellcome Trust
  5. Lisa Norberg, Barnard College Library, Columbia University


AHA Session 254 – Learning in Networks of Knowledge (LINK): Toward a New Digital Tool for Cultivating Historical Thinking

Monday, January 5, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

Regent Parlor (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: David Pace, Indiana University Bloomington



  1. Ali Erkan, Ithaca College, Designing the Tool
  2. Steven Lam, Cornell University, Designing the Tool, Part II
  3. Matthew E. Klemm, Ithaca College, Using the Tool
  4. Michael B. Smith, Ithaca College, Using the Tool, Part II
  5. Susannah McGowan, University of California, Santa Barbara, Assessment

AHA Session 266 – The Digital Recovery of African American and African Diaspora History and Literary History: A Roundtable Discussion

Monday, January 5, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

Concourse A (New York Hilton, Concourse Level)


Chair: Kim Gallon, Purdue University


  1. Jessica Johnson, Michigan State University, African Diaspora, Ph.D. and Radical Black History Online
  2. Robert Luckett, Jackson State University, Margaret Walker Personal Papers Digital Archives Project
  3. Kim Gallon, Purdue University, Black Press Research Collective
  4. Bryan Carter, University of Arizona, The Virtual Harlem Project


AHA Session 286 – Revisiting New York’s Experience of World War II through Digital Public History

Monday, January 5, 2015: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

New York Ballroom West (Sheraton New York, Third Floor)


Chair: Andrew T Urban, Rutgers University–New Brunswick



  1. Johnathan Thayer, City University of New York, Graduate Center and Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey, The Seamen’s Church Institute’s American Merchant Marine Oral History Project: An Archival Intervention
  2. Molly Rosner, Rutgers University–Newark, Brooklyn in Love and at War: Making Private Correspondence Public Online
  3. Natalie Milbrodt, Queens Library, Democratizing the Archives: An Aggregation of Diverse Histories in Queens


AHA Session 289 – Text Analysis, Visualization, and Historical Interpretation

Monday, January 5, 2015: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Murray Hill Suite A (New York Hilton, Second Floor)


Chair: Robert K. Nelson, University of Richmond



  1. Micki Kaufman, City University of New York, Graduate Center, “Everything on Paper Will Be Used Against Me”: Quantifying Kissinger: A Computational Analysis of the Digital National Security Archive’s Kissinger Memcons and Telcons
  2. Ian Milligan, University of Waterloo, The Promise of WebARChive Files: Exploring the Internet Archive as a Historical Resource
  3. Michelle Moravec, University of Rosemont, Using Big Data to Answer Historiographical Questions; or, Can Digital History Fulfill the Promise of Social History?
  4. Fred Gibbs, University of New Mexico, Between Text, Argument, and Data: Interpreting New Visualizations in History

Comment: Robert K. Nelson, University of Richmond