This site is a preview of some of the Digital Scholarship Lab's initial experiments using statistical analysis and visualization to uncover meaning in large bodies of documents, in this case newspapers from the Valley of the Shadow Project. The Valley of the Shadow is an archive of documents from two counties in the Shenandoah Valley, one northern (Franklin County, Pennsylvania), the other southern (Augusta County, Virginia) during the Civil War era. The visualizations you can generate with the form below allow you to examine these documents from a variety of perspectives. Some are telescopic, revealing meaningful patterns among thousands of texts. Others are microscopic, letting you delve in into a handful of documents that share some characteristic. All of them aim to be illuminating, allowing you to compare and contrast writings penned by northerners and southerners, by Republicans and Democrats to explore both the political, social, and cultural fault lines that separated Americans from one another as well as the common ground they shared together.

Visualization