Visualizing Emancipation is directed by Scott Nesbit, assistant professor of the digital humanities at the University of Georgia, and Edward L. Ayers, president, University of Richmond.

The project has benefitted from a large number of contributors at the University of Richmond and beyond. The Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities contributed to the project through a Digital Start-Up grant awarded through the We the People program. The University of Richmond contributed significant staff time to the project. Any vews, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The staff at the Digital Scholarship Lab has been intimately involved in nearly every aspect of the project. DSL director Robert K. Nelson contributed in countless ways to the conceptualization and implementation of the project. Nathaniel Ayers served as the project’s creative lead.

Staff members in the University of Richmond's Information Services and at Boatwright Library have been of great help. Rick Neal, with the cooperation of Bob Littlepage and the University of Richmond systems group, has provided expertise in server administration in our implementation of the project. Chris Kemp has provided help in working with xml-encoded texts and their transformations, and played a significant role in transforming the Union army information from textual description to mapped data.

A number of individuals have given valuable contributions to the project along the way. Gary Gallagher has served as an advisor to the project, Leslie Rowland and Robert Kenzer have given helpful feedback at key stages of the project’s development, and Kimberly Klinker has consulted with the project staff on metadata.

Student interns at the Digital Scholarship Lab collected nearly all the emancipation event data in Visualizing Emancipation. Over the last two years, Betel Akilu, Lauren Gallagher, Rachel Hall, Anthony Joga, Kathleen Lietzao, Perry Lowder, Holly McAleese, Amani Morrison, Vaquinda Motley, Dhruv Raturi, Franchesca Santos, Stefan St. John, Colleen Tobin and Darleen Underwood served as researchers for the project, learning more about the American Civil War than they had thought likely before entering college. Alexandra Bloomfield and Megan Molnar spent a great deal of time formatting and editing events from an early stage in the project and worked with the project directors to define Visualizing Emancipation’s event types. Alex Wan helped clean U.S. army data that had been generated algorithmically. These students were joined by volunteers from outside the University of Richmond, including Lindsey Edmonds, Tyler Garrett, and Kelly Douma. In addition to crediting those who helped the project before its launch, we would like to thank the volunteer contributors who are regularly submitting events from across the United States.

Azavea, a Philadelphia-based company specializing in the creation of geographic web software worked closely with the project directors to develop the mapping application. The application uses non-proprietary applications and technologies, including GeoServer, OpenLayers, and javascript to display information in a data-rich, interactive environment. The map employs ESRI’s light gray canvas basemap.

Visualizing Emancipation makes heavy use of a number of sources. Its emancipation events rely especially on the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901), made available by Cornell University Library’s Making of America project and Ohio State University’s ehistory site. U.S. regimental positions are gathered from Frederick Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (Des Moines: Dyer Publishing Company, 1908), digitized by Tufts University’s Perseus Digital Library. Emancipation events are also drawn from the University of Richmond’s Richmond Daily Dispatch collection and the University of Virginia’s Valley of the Shadow. The locations of Civil War-era railroads are made available at the geodata portal, courtesy of Harvard University’s Center for Geographic Analysis and based on John Bartholomew, "The Confederate states, with the border states & the adjoining portion of the Federal states" (London: George Philip & Son, [1864?]). All researchers on the end of slavery owe a debt of gratitude to Ira Berlin and the editors of the series Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation.

Scott Nesbit