This month has been sort of full of professional development, with three very different events providing opportunities to learn from smart people, eat catered food, and network.

On March 8, I went to the Public History Community Forum (PubComm), an annual event put on by Temple’s Center for Public History and Rutgers-Camden’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH). I helped a bit with the event website and helped set up and clean up, but the meat of the work was done by my classmates Cynthia Heider and Chelsea Reed and Rachel Craft of Rutgers-Camden.

Cynthia, Chelsea, and Rachel assembled an amazing little conference (6 workshops, a keynote address, and a panel) on a shoestring budget, and managed to get supremely qualified presenters, including the Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s Annie Polland, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site’s Sean Kelley, and Ismael Jimenez, a high school teacher in Philly and part of the Philadelphia Black History Collaborative.

I spent a lot of my time at PubComm live-tweeting the event and I collected my tweets and those from some other nimble-thumbed folks into a Storify of the day: Continue reading “Conferences!”

More Stuff in Fairmount Park

Bridge #704 in Fairmount Park. Photo by Bradley Maule of

The task: create a simple web map with at least eight points of interest. I elected to use this opportunity to work toward my Digital History final project, and picked eight spots in Fairmount Park that didn’t make the 1937 Philadelphia city guide walking tours of the park (or, in two cases, are used in substantially different ways than they were in 1937). I chose photos to accompany each point, historic photos except where the new use was what interested me. Here’s the map, but I’ll break down the points of interest below: Continue reading “More Stuff in Fairmount Park”

Digital History Project Proposal

I’ve reached the point in the semester where I need to have a good idea of what I’m going to attempt for my final projects and papers. So here is my (ambitious) proposal:

Belmont Mansion in stereo

I want to use the 1937 Federal Writers Project city guide to Philadelphia (or more likely simply the walking tours of Fairmount Park) as a jumping off point for a digital map similar to the Mall Histories project. Among the resources I hope to geolocate are Historic American Building Survey (HABS) images and drawings as well as stereoscopic views of Fairmount Park that are part of the New York Public Library’s online collections. I might also include contemporary photos to highlight attractions that weren’t present in 1937, such as public artworks and graffiti. The mansion called “The Cliffs” was not included in the 1937 guide, likely because it is off the beaten path, but its fire-damaged, graffiti’d shell is a major draw for urban explorer types, and before and after images could be really interesting. Continue reading “Digital History Project Proposal”

Visualizing Public History Participation in Gilmore Girls

This week in Digital History we were tasked with creating simple data visualizations to familiarize ourselves with free tools we’d learned about in class or found on our own. While we were pointed to many really interesting freely-accessible datasets, I wanted to work with something that connected to other things I’ve been working on. While I don’t have data to process on Chamounix Mansion, I do have a (very uneven, very flawed) spreadsheet of public history occurrences in ‘Gilmore Girls.’ And I needed to post something over at Stars Hollow Historical Society because I’d been letting the team down. So I made some charts about Gilmore Girls. My charts (one of which is above) and disclaimers and limited conclusions can be found here: