Making Research Accessible

Research Freedom is an open project dedicated to making research more accessible to everyone. Our site contains reviews of digital and physical archives to make your research time more efficient.

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  1. Jonathan

    Histography

    By Jonathan ·
    I hope everyone has had a great holiday season! I've spent a significant part of the break continuing to look for new digital history projects that we can discuss here at Research Freedom. I am also preparing to teach two new classes this spring, so I have been really interested in new potential teaching tools. This is where Histography comes in. It's a new interactive historical timeline, where every dot represents a significant moment in world history. The great thing about this is that it allows you to access the Wikipedia page for additional information.  I also really like the "Editorial Stories" part of the site. This provides access to videos, the Wikipedia page, and related resources. This is a more in-depth discussion of the topics. I think that this will be a great way for students to visualize history, and I am looking forward to showing my classes this Spring.  Check out Histography for yourself. Let me know what you think below. 

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  2. Jonathan

    The Liberated Africans Project

    By Jonathan ·
    The Liberated Africans Project explores what happened to 200,000 emancipated Africans as a part of the international movement to abolish the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The really interesting thing about this project is that it is extremely collaborative. One of the major issues with researching this topic has been that the information is spread in archives across the world and in multiple languages. The key source material for this project are the Vice Admiralty Courts. These courts handled all of the cases where the British Navy seized slave ships off the coast of Africa. This site is currently under development, but it will eventually have thousands of records from Cuba, Brazil, and Sierra Leone. Aside from the Vice Admiralty Courts, the site also contains an image library that is really useful. This is a great teaching resource. 
    Image Credit: The Liberated Africans Project See our resource review here.

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  3. Jonathan

    HistoryQuest DC

    By Jonathan ·
    I came across this really interesting new Digital Humanities project called HistoryQuest DC the other day. It is an interactive GIS map that provides historic data on over 127,000 buildings. I think what I like the most about this project are the multiple layers of data available with the click of a button. It contains information on historic neighborhoods, allows you to trace the development of the city from the 1790s until now, and even lets you look at DC as L'Enfant planned it in the 1790s.  The project has its beginning with the DC Historic Buildings Permit database. According to the creators, this database provided 85% of the data used to create the maps. However, this is chronologically limited. The office issued its first permit in 1877 and ended operations in 1949. This is a project in development, and as such it will continue to become even more impressive over the next few years.  Check out the project here.

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  4. Jonathan

    A 200 year Transformation: How the Mall Became What it is Today

    By Jonathan ·
    There's a really fascinating article in the Washington Post Lifestyle section about the history of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. from its original plan in 1791 to today. While this is not really "research" focused, it does make for an interesting discussion on public engagement and the use of digital sources to tell stories. The use of maps, though modern, shows how the mall transformed over the past 225 years. The article demonstrates the many ways in which public pressure has resulted in the configuration of the Mall. It is the most sought after space in Washington, D.C. with various interest groups seeking to open their own museums/monuments to key figures. We've seen this over the last couple of decades as women seek to get permission and funds to build the Women's History Museum. There is also a significant move towards opening a Latin American history museum on the Mall. In 2003, Congress essentially called the project of the National Mall complete. Yet, we saw the opening of the African American History and Culture museum this year, and there is a new reception space opening by the Vietnam War memorial this year.  The National Mall represents one of the most important public spaces in the United States. It has been the site of the most important protests and rallies in our recent history from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech to the Million-Man March. This space has a fascinating history.    Check out the article here.

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  • Reno, Nevada was the world's divorce capital for nearly six decades. This project contains hundreds of digitized images, publications, documents, and media.

    Fields Class, Crime and Punishment, Economics, Gender and Sexuality, Legal, Political
    Geographic Focus United States
    Chronology 1900s
    • Price

      Free
    • Access

      Online Only
    • Jonathan

      Contributed By

      Jonathan
  • The Spectator first emerged in 1828 promising to "convey intelligence." This archive contains digitized copies of every edition of the newspaper from 1828 to 2008. This is an extremely important source for political and cultural information regarding Britain and its colonies.

    Fields Class, Crime and Punishment, Economics, Empire and Imperialism, Environmental, Gender and Sexuality, Legal, Medicine, Military, Political, Race, Religion, Science, Slavery
    Geographic Focus United States, Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand
    Chronology 1800s, 1900s, 2000s
    • Price

      Free
    • Access

      Online Only
    • Jonathan

      Contributed By

      Jonathan
  • From 1830 until well after the American Civil War, Free Blacks and Fugitive slaves met in state and national "conventions" to discuss important issues. This new Digital Humanities project seeks to understand the social worlds and collective organizing potential of these conventions.

    Fields Class, Economics, Gender and Sexuality, Legal, Political, Race, Religion
    Geographic Focus United States
    Chronology 1800s
    • Price

      Free
    • Access

      Online Only
    • Jonathan

      Contributed By

      Jonathan
  • In 1808, over 200,000 people were emancipated in an attempt to abolish slavery in the Atlantic World. This project attempts to reclaim and tell their stories.

    Fields Crime and Punishment, Economics, Empire and Imperialism, Legal, Military, Political, Race, Religion, Slavery
    Geographic Focus United States, Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, Argentina, Brazil, Europe, France, Great Britain and Ireland, Africa, West Africa
    Chronology 1500s, 1700s, 1800s
    • Price

      Free
    • Access

      Online Only
    • Jonathan

      Contributed By

      Jonathan

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