Ayers, Edward L. “The Valley of the Shadow.” https://valley.lib.virginia.edu/
- A digital archive of primary sources that document the lives of people in Augusta County, VA, and Franklin County, PA, from John Brown’s raid on Haper’s Ferry through Reconstruction. Sources vary from diaries to newspapers to photographs to church and tax records and are split into three sections: The Eve of War (Fall 1859 to Spring 1861), The War Years (Spring 1861 to Spring 1865), and The Aftermath (Spring 1865 to Fall 1870), with each source type subsection within these categories divided by location.
Bauer, Jean. “Early American Foreign Services Database.” http://www.eafsd.org/
- The Early American Foreign Service Database (EAFSD to its friends) traces the U.S. Foreign Service from its early attempts at supplying the Continental Army during the American Revolution through the establishment of U.S. embassies in South America. You can search for a specific person, location, or job title, browse by individual, location, letter, assignment title, assignment type, state, region, or continent, or explore interactive visualizations of titles, locations, and assignments. You can also explore the data model modules and open source software that make up the site.
Brown, Vincent. “Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761: A Cartographic Narrative” http://revolt.axismaps.com/
- An animated, multi-layered map that tells the spatial history of the greatest slave insurrection in the eighteenth century British Empire. A chronological-locational database, symbol design, and interface are overlaid on top of eighteenth-century maps to allow you to see how the island’s topography shaped the course of the revolt, how the rebellion included at least three major uprisings, and how its suppression required the sequenced collaboration of several distinct elements of British military power. From the cartographic evidence, it appears that the insurrection was in fact a well-planned affair that posed a genuine strategic threat, checked ultimately by an effective counterinsurgency. You can choose to either watch the map play out as a video, or click through by date yourself.
Central Connecticut State University. “Music as Propaganda in World War 1.” https://library.ccsu.edu/dighistFall16/exhibits/show/music-as-propaganda-in-world-w/music-as-propaganda
- This virtual exhibit (created by student(s) at Central Connecticut State University) examines the role of music in World War I propaganda, while simultaneously showing off some of the functionality of Omeka, an open-source web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits (and a RRCHNM product). For more WWI exhibits by the same class in Omeka, visit https://library.ccsu.edu/dighistFall16/exhibits.
Clark, Brandon. “Blood in the Water: A Digital History Project on the Geography of Pontiac’s War, 1763,” September 19, 2018. https://doi.org/10.5282/RCC/8460.
- This project uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to analyze the spatial distribution of British military deaths during Pontiac’s War of 1763, specifically focusing on the importance of waterways in the conflict. It illustrates where British soldiers died and identifies the geographic center of the Indian attacks using static maps, while also contributing to an interactive map and an interactive timeline to support the larger argument of the Environment and Society Portal.
Digital National Security Archive (DNSA): U.S. Nuclear History, 1969-1976: Weapons, Arms Control, and War Plans in an Age of Strategic Parity, n.d. https://proquest.libguides.com/dnsa/nuclearhistory2
- You may or may not be able to access this through your institution. This database This compilation details the nuclear weapons policies of the Nixon and Ford administrations, which it argues is a critical period in the nuclear age and vital for understanding the current global arena. The authors are transparent about the methodology and sources that went into this archive and the limitations and potential research value of the set, including a breakdown of documents by time period and origin, giving visitors a behind the scenes look at how a digital archive might come together.
Gettysburg College. “The First World War Letters of H. J. C. Piers: A Digital History.” https://jackpeirs.org/
- This project documents the letters – and subsequently the life and war time experience – of H. J. C. Pier, an English soldier in WWI. The project released each letter online on the hundredth anniversary of the day it was written. They use a variety of digital tools for this: a family tree, interactive timeline, interactive maps, digital copies and analyses of his letters, as well as digital copies of other primary sources, including photographs, programs, and newspaper clippings.
Gitre, Edward J.K. “An Uncensored Digital History of the Black GI in World War II.” Rediscovering Black History, February 26, 2019. https://rediscovering-black-history.blogs.archives.gov/2019/02/26/an-uncensored-digital-history-of-the-black-world-war-ii-gi/
- This post, part of the Rediscovering Black History blog at the National Archives, is also connected to The American Soldier in World War II, a project of digitizing and transcribing a collection of written reflections on war and military service by American soldiers. This post focuses on Survey 32, anonymous social survey on race relations administered by the Army’s in-house social and behavioral scientists in March 1943. Question 78 of the survey gave the soldiers a “free comment” space and nearly half of the men, of all races, took advantage of this space to share their true feelings. Digital copies of the answers give us an insight into the attitudes of black veterans and the role they played in the civil rights movement after they came home.
Kaufman, Micki. “‘Everything on Paper Will Be Used Against Me:’ Quantifying Kissinger: Text Analysis, Visualization and Historical Interpretation of the National Security Archive’s Kissinger Correspondence.” https://blog.quantifyingkissinger.com/
- This project – which describes itself as “A Computational Analysis of the National Security Archive’s Kissinger Collection Memcons and Telcons” can look overwhelming at first. However, users can choose from a wide variety of ways to access and view the digital data, which comes from the declassification of thousands of pages of Kissinger material by the State Department and the hosting of that material on the DNSA’s Kissinger Collection website. The application of more sophisticated computational techniques permits a comprehensive analysis of the historical records of the Kissinger collection at the DNSA, and facilitates meaningful historical interpretations. While this new way of looking at history is based on data, unlike other methods of historical analysis, it is the variations of the content of the text itself, rather than economic data, that is measured. This new way of looking at history includes static and interactive visualizations, five methods of text analysis, and force directed graphs, line and bar graphs, and area and stream graphs.
Korean War Digital History Project. http://www.kwdhproject.org/
- This project was created explicitly as a resource for k12 educators, providing links to Korean War material from all over the web, as well as lesson plans, class projects, and providing resources for educators to include veterans and their stories into their classrooms, including interviewing veterans and transcribing these interviews. A great example of the many facets of digital history.
Lawrence, Susan C. Civil War Washington: History, Place, and Digital Scholarship. Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. http://civilwardc.org/
- There is a related book, if you are able to access it or willing to pay for access: https://muse.jhu.edu/book/38564
- This project uses datasets, visual works, texts, essays, and interactive, multi-layer maps to enable you to to study, visualize, and theorize the complex changes in the city of Washington, DC between 1860 and 1865. A searchable relational database is also browsable by people, places, events, organizations, and documents. The texts are taken from (newspapers, letters, petitions filed in response to the Compensated Emancipation Act of April 16, 1862, and cases drawn from The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. The essays cover topics such as GIS, data mining, and the development of the site, giving you insight into how the website came together and military medical history in D.C.
Mullen, Abigail G. “Encounters in the Quasi-War” http://abbymullen.org/projects/Quasi-War/ and Creating this Map – http://abbymullen.org/projects/Quasi-War/calculations_text.html
- This interactive map plots encounters (at least, those with enough recorded spatial detail to make educated guesses regarding location) between French and American vessels from 1796 to 1800 in the Quasi-War between the United States and France. The map consists of a historical map that has been georectified and layered on top of an OpenStreetMap, with the encounter locations then integrated. In the companion page, the author (our own Abby Mullen), walks you through some of the methodologies and difficulties that went into creating the map, such as georectification and historic place names.
Mullen, Abigail G. “‘Good Neighbourhood with All’: Conflict and Cooperation in the First Barbary War, 1801-1805.,” May 1, 2017. https://repository.library.northeastern.edu/files/neu:cj82ps38q and Ship Movements of the First Barbary War http://abbymullen.org/projects/barbary/
- This dissertation argues that when the United States went to war with Tripoli in 1801, its aims were threefold: (1) a peace settlement without tribute; (2) entrance and acceptance into the Mediterranean community; and (3) respect from the nations of the Mediterranean. The American navy found it difficult to wage war without land bases. Thousands of miles from home, the navy could not rely on supplies, information, and advice from the government back in the United States. Instead, the navy had to rely on the good graces of the Mediterranean nations, for everything from food to repairs, from commercial information to covert intelligence. Complicating relations in the Mediterranean was the signing of peace between Britain and France in 1802, and then the resumption of war in 1803. Alliances were quickly formed and quickly broken as the European continent convulsed in the Napoleonic Wars. As the Americans navigated the politics of the Mediterranean, they wanted to be seen as equal with the two great powers of the region, Britain and France.
- By the time peace was settled in 1805, the United States had made inroads into the Mediterranean community through both official and unofficial channels. European diplomats had been intimately involved in peace negotiations; Barbary officials had vacillated between advocacy and antagonism for the United States; European ports had supplied American naval vessels with supplies, repairs, and crew, while also sparking controversy and resentment between the Europeans and the Americans. In its quest to declare independence from the Barbary tribute system, the United States found that in the Mediterranean community, cooperation and conflict went hand in hand.
- The supplementary digital map is a model based on the locations recorded by the squadrons’ crews, collected in the six volumes of Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers. It enables the user to see the movement of American Navy through the Atlantic and Mediterranean through the First Barbary Way.
Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. “Papers of the War Department 1784-1800.” https://wardepartmentpapers.org/s/home/page/home
- On November 8, 1800, fire devastated the War Office, consuming the papers, records, and books stored there. Papers of the War Department 1784-1800, an innovative digital editorial project, makes some 42,000 documents of the early War Department many long thought irretrievable but now reconstructed through a painstaking, multi-year research effort available online to scholars, students, and the general public. The work to reconstitute the War Department Papers involved years of painstaking work, including visits to more than 200 repositories and the consulting of more than 3,000 collections in the United States, Canada, England, France, and Scotland.
- In addition to making the documents discoverable by collection, item set, keywords, and more, the website also provides four full lesson plans for high school or undergraduate classes, and facilitates a volunteer transcription project of the papers.
Saunt, Claudio. West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776 First edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2014 and companion websites: http://usg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eb6ca76e008543a89349ff2517db47e6 and https://www.chronicle.com/article/Digital-History-Center-Strives/148657
- This interactive map depicts every Native American land cession, by treaty or by executive order, between 1776 and 1887. Users can search by nation or location, status of land (unceded territory, Indian homeland, or reservation), and choose between different map views, including source maps. If you prefer, you can also access a youtube video illustrating this land invasion.
Texas Tech University, The Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive. “The Virtual Vietnam Archive.” https://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/index.htm
- This digital archive contains seven million pages of scanned documents. These documents tend to be more personal in nature – personal photographs, letters home, etc. While there are some official records, particularly from the USMC (see below), these are generally copies kept and donated by veterans or researchers. The site is also home to a variety of digital exhibits about the Vietnam War and oral history interviews with Vietnam veterans.
- The Muninn Project is a multidisciplinary, multinational, academic research project investigating millions of records pertaining to WWI in archives around the world. They aim to take archives of digitized documents, extract the written data, and turn the resulting information into structured databases, which will then support further research. Muninn makes use of OWL ontologies to markup and record different pieces of information, all of which are available at the “better url” and give users a detailed look into the precision and attention to detail that go into marking up digitized documents.
The Wilson Center. “Cold War International History Project.” https://www.wilsoncenter.org/program/cold-war-international-history-project
- This project uses a variety of different digital approaches, including podcasts, digital publications, a blog, and a digital archive, all of which allow users to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies and support the project’s goal of full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. These blog posts and publications include both research and analysis of primary sources and discussions of sources and methods.
Triplett, Edward. “Book of Fortresses.” https://www.bookoffortresses.org/
- Book of Fortresses uses digital tools to spatially reconstruct an early-16th century Portuguese source by the same name. The book contains drawings and architectural plans of more than 55 fortresses and fortified towns along the border between Portugal and Spain. These 3D constructions are placed in their landscape using 3D GIS layers and the creators hope to use this to one day determine how accurate the artist was and how the castles and towns have changed since they were captured by the artist in 1510.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro. “Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project.” http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/WVHP
- This digital archive is home to a wide variety of source material of all formats from WWI to the present day, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, The Cold War, Desert Storm, the Gulf Wars, and the War on Terror. Users can filter these sources by era, branch of service, type of material, and date, but all of the sources, from the expansive oral histories to the uniforms to the transcribed letters, tell the story of the contributions of women in the military and related service organizations.