Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History

I’m pleased to announce that Digital Harlem has been awarded the American Historical Association’s Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History.

The citation for the prize reads:

Digital Harlem: Everyday Life, 1915–1930 presents the social history of a particular time and place in an elegant way that encourages exploration and new discoveries. The team behind the site draws on the strength of the primary sources and uses digital techniques to allow the viewer to see elements and patterns during the Harlem Renaissance that would be difficult to characterize in narrative. In addition to being open access, Digital Harlem is open-ended: researchers can explore themes of interest to them, layering experimental searches upon each other to envision the character and interactions of everyday life. The site also powerfully shows what can be done with the combination of common technology (Google Maps) with deep archival research and outstanding web design and functionality.

We will be using the funds to upgrade the layer of building footprints on the map.  The first fruits of this work have already been added to the site: the partial layer of hand drawn footprints has been replaced with images of maps from an atlas produced by G W Bromley & Co., currently covering the area from 110th to 145th Street, with further images covering the area up to 155th Street to come.

The atlas we own is a 1932 map which has been updated to reflect changes that occurred up to 1940, so in coming weeks we will be working to correct it to reflect conditions in the 1920s.  Thanks to Andrew Wilson and his colleagues at the ACL for their work on this project

The receipt of this award does bring with it some sadness. I had the privilege of briefly being Roy Rosenzweig’s colleague, and he was an inspiration for my subsequent work in digital history.  Roy was also a good friend of one of my collaborators, Shane White.  We miss him.

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