Digital Portfolio

Growing access to digital data is enabling historians to pursue new research methods and prompting new questions. In my work, the spatial question is fertile ground for digital inquiry (inward facing) and public engagement on the web (outward facing). Digital communication and big data thus allow for both scholarly research and public outreach.

Mapping Congress

Mapping Congress

The emergence of grassroots political history has invigorated the study of politics and the U.S. Congress by asking new questions about local constituencies and the electorate; about the role of geography and space in politics; and about the value of regional histories for understanding American politics. Scholars, journalists, and the public are increasingly intrigues by […]

HOLC security map for south side of Chicago, 1939.

Mapping Inequality

In an effort to resurrect the American economy from financial catastrophe, the federal government created the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) in 1933 to refinance troubled residential home mortgages and guarantee them going forward. The federal government drew on local realtors and lenders to create security maps evaluating the riskiness of neighborhoods in more than […]

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Classicizing Chicago

Over the last two years I have served as a director for the Classicizing Chicago project developed by the Department of Classics at Northwestern University. This interdisciplinary project seeks to understand, document, and present the reception and reinterpretation of Chicagoans with antiquity. Scholars and popular understanding often make tacit investigation into the impact of classical […]

Social media campaign promoting the Urban History podcast from the UHA.

Urban History Association

I am a member of the board of the Urban History Association and have led the digital subcommittee, featuring several projects for research and outreach. First, I established a blog and recruited several members to promote urban history research and discuss issues in urban life. Among the most prominent of these is N.D.B. Connolly’s “The […]

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Loyola University Chicago Public History Video

September 2009 – March 2010 I served as the producer-director of a promotional video for the public history program at LUC, where I was an instructor. This video is used for student recruitment and also for informational purposes for potential funding agencies or community partners. Over the course of six months I wrote a script […]

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Ann Arbor Built Environment

May 2006 — June 2006 Graduate and undergraduate students in my Spring 2006 course Historic Preservation and Urban Conservation conducted a measured drawings project on the Delta Kappa Epsilon Shant, a ceremonial fraternity meeting house located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, near the University of Michigan campus. The DKE Shant was designed in 1876 by pioneering […]

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Data Digitization

In the course of creating digital projects or mapping efforts, I often must perform or coordinate digitization of analog, archival data, from small gauge document collections or large, systematic efforts. Among these that I have digitized are census data, new geographic shapefiles, elections data, government data on PWA higher education projects, or photos from federal […]

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Temple University-Community History Project

September 2010 — May 2011 In this project I led a group of graduate students and collaborating with university library staff to digitize archival media, including documents, photos, newspaper clippings, and video illustrating the history of engagement between Temple University and its North Philadelphia neighborhood. This includes establishing metadata templates and setting digitization schedules, advancing […]

WMU Archives & Regional History Collection

January 2004 — April 2004 During my graduate program in public history I served as an intern on a digitization project at the university and regional history archives of Western Michigan University, a large state university in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The digitization effort, part of the statewide Making of Modern Michigan project, involved the selection of […]

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HABS Documentation, Greenbelt, MD

May 2005 — August 2005 As the Sally Kress Tompkins Fellow I served as a Summer Historian for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), an office of the National Park Service. A participant in the Modern Movement in Maryland effort, I documented both Old Greenbelt (pdf) and the Springhill Lake development (pdf) in Greenbelt, Maryland. […]

Geographic Information Systems

Drawing on my urban planning training, I use GIS mapping software to spatially represent historical data, whether it be census data or archival information that must be digitized. This process lends itself to visual representation, as figures in scholarly publications; and to historical analysis, serving as thinking and research tools in a historian’s work process, […]

UrbanOasis.org, Social Media, and other Web activities

This website began as a Blogger blog in 2004, has spent several years as a WordPress powered site, with some implementation of the Drupal open source content management system. As an example of the site’s functionality, I used this site to host pre-class discussions of material in my Spring 2011 digital media class at Temple. […]