Trudi Abel, Victoria Szabo
The Digital Durham archive brings together numerous documents, maps, images, census data, and other primary source materials in a digital form accessible and searchable from the web. This project seeks to activate the archive as a teaching tool and public history resource through the use of annotated maps, multimedia-illustrated essays, and augmented reality tours of the city itself. Students in various Digital Durham related classes over the years have contributed not only to the archive itself, but also to deeper dives into specific research questions about Durham history as localized phenomena of spatial and temporal significance as they relate to race, religion, culture, and economic status. This work is reflected on the site, and in online projects. In addition, some of these essays are being translated to augmented reality experiences accessible via mobile device only from specific GPS points in the city itself, an approach that highlights the importance of they physical materiality and experience of the space itself as we reflect upon historical change over time. Through partnerships with local history institutions, libraries, and schools, we are also exploring collaborative approaches to public history-making in various city neighborhoods as well, including the Walltown area adjacent to Duke’s East Campus.
This project is part of Bass Connections.