A Spatial History of Wesleyan University combines geographical and quantitative analysis with archival and oral history research to interpret the past in place. It is the product of the Spring 2015 course in Digital History at Wesleyan taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of History Amrys O. Williams, part of the university’s Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative.
The student researchers made extensive use of resources found in SC&A, including the Vertical Files Collection, annual reports, college catalogs and bulletins, photographs, maps, and more. Congratulations on a job well done! SC&A is eager to support or collaborate on a wide variety of projects, including those involving digital history and humanities.
From the Spatial History website:
A Spatial History of Wesleyan University combines geographical and quantitative analysis with archival and oral history research to interpret the past in place. By studying the history of Wesleyan’s campus landscape and buildings alongside the university’s enrollment, tuition, and student body, we can see the connections between the cultural life of the university and its physical environment.
“The Story” provides an overview of Wesleyan’s history, highlighting the most important factors that have influenced the campus’s configuration over time
The “Interactive Map” allows you to explore Wesleyan’s history spatially through a dynamic interface.
“By the Numbers” traces historical data about Wesleyan’s enrollment, tuition, endowment, and financial aid to reveal the kinds of opportunities and constraints that shaped the campus over time.
The “Oral History” section illuminates Wesleyan’s past through the voices of individuals.
The class brought together 18 students from across campus with varied skills and backgrounds who shared an interest in historical communication and making things. Through readings, conversations, and hands-on work, we learned about the prospects and perils of doing historical work in the digital age, and pooled our knowledge and resources to come up with our own contribution to history and the digital humanities.
The central assignment of the course was this collaborative project of our own devising. Drawing on our pool of individual abilities and common interests, and considering the skills we wanted to acquire and refine, we conceived, designed, built, publicized, and launched this site. Working together in teams and as a group both in and out of class, we taught and learned from one another, working together (at times quite intensively) to make the project a success.