Learning to "Do History": Lessons in Collaborative Research and Writing

I have been involved with the Digital Harrisburg Initiative since January of 2018 and have had the opportunity to be involved in may different projects. Most of the writing I've been asked to do has been very independent (minus a few edits in post-production). Over the past year, however, I was able to contribute to … Continue reading Learning to "Do History": Lessons in Collaborative Research and Writing

New History: Updates on Digital Harrisburg

The team of students and faculty at Messiah College's branch of the Digital Harrisburg Initiative have been hard at work for the past few months on a variety of different projects. Our on-going involvement in the Look Up, Look Out campaign and Commonwealth Monument project allows many different students to lend their voices to important … Continue reading New History: Updates on Digital Harrisburg

Reflecting on Digital History and Mary Sachs Research

Over these past couple of weeks, I have learned a great deal about the City Beautiful Movement as well as what it means to be a digital historian. Digital technologies have developed so quickly over the past couple of decades. In the edited collection, History in the Digital Age, many chapters underscore how technology is used … Continue reading Reflecting on Digital History and Mary Sachs Research

The Month in Reflection

As the culmination of the Digital Harrisburg Class, we, as students, were asked to put together a final project to demonstrate both the digital skills and the knowledge of Harrisburg we had gained through the class. In my case, I followed the early trail of the rather compelling and successful mayor and reformer Vance C. … Continue reading The Month in Reflection

Looking Back on Digital History

So many people have asked me why in the world I chose to study history. Usually I just take it in stride, tell them that everyone is different, and move on. It wasn't until I spent a month doing intense research, getting very little sleep, trying to understand the changes that occurred in turn of … Continue reading Looking Back on Digital History

Using Digital Tools to Track Change

Understanding the City Beautiful movement involves understanding change. The actual definition of change from Merriam Webster is “to make different in some particular.” This definition does not encompass the whole reality of change. To change from one thing to another always involves losing something. Sometimes this is losing something bad and gaining something good, but … Continue reading Using Digital Tools to Track Change

What Difference Thirty Years Can Make: Harrisburg’s Transformation from 1900 to 1930

Recently, our class has been looking at census data dealing with information from 1900 to 1930. Our census data includes information about each person who lived in Harrisburg during those thirty years. From records, we can learn the first name, last name, address, gender, race, age, birth year, literacy, birthplace, occupation, immigration status, etc. for … Continue reading What Difference Thirty Years Can Make: Harrisburg’s Transformation from 1900 to 1930

Searching for floods in the Archives

As a first time visitor to an archive, I really did not know what to expect. I thought that it would be similar to a library but much bigger. Images of clustered shelves with dusty papers came to mind. Of the two archives that we visited, the Pennsylvania State Archives could not have been further … Continue reading Searching for floods in the Archives

Digitizing City Beautiful: Remaking Harrisburg and its History

Harrisburg has been the state capital of Pennsylvania since 1812, but has had its fair share of ups and downs in city appeal. Nearing the end of the 19th century, the town was at a crossroads. After a brief period of industrial boom in the steel business, it had lost its luster and looked nothing … Continue reading Digitizing City Beautiful: Remaking Harrisburg and its History

Digitization in the Real World

The primary sources about Harrisburg and the City Beautiful movement are mostly physical copies in archives. Since we are learning about City Beautiful in the context of digital history, our first project focuses on digitizing a selection of these items relating to each of our specific themes. That’s why we spent almost seven hours on … Continue reading Digitization in the Real World