Featured Project:

Land Acquisition and Dispossession

Mapping the Homestead Act, 1863-1912

by the
Digital Scholarship Lab & Julius Wilm

The DSL is hiring

Full Stack Library Solutions Engineer

We are looking for a full-stack developer to join the University of Richmond library's Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL) and Digital Engagement (DE) team. The DSL is one of the leading digital humanities centers in the country, and the Digital Engagement group works to create and share digital collections of significant university and library collections. The FSLS Engineer will utilize their expertise in web development to contribute to innovative digital scholarship and digital collections projects. In addition, they will work not only with DSL and DE team members but have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty, staff, and students across the University of Richmond. We are thus looking for someone creative, interested in working on academic projects, and who takes pride in the craft of web development. You'd be a good fit if:

  • You understand web fundamentals and how front-end code fits into it.
  • You have experience with the following: React, TypeScript, HTML, CSS.
  • You have experience creating, configuring, and maintaining required components, features, and web services on the server-side backend (databases, APIs, etc.)
  • You are comfortable working with many different types of data and command-line tools.
  • Ideally, have experience with Postgres, PostGIS, and/or Omeka.
  • To apply, visit the University of Richmond Careers Page and make sure to include your Resume and Cover Letter. Feel free to link to your LinkedIn, or Github profile in the Cover Letter.

    Note: We want to emphasize that the preferred qualifications are not required and that we are committed to helping our future colleagues develop these skills. Additionally, applicants are encouraged to communicate how their work fulfills the required qualifications in ways that may not be obvious.


    The Digital Scholarship Lab develops innovative digital humanities projects that contribute to research and teaching at and beyond the University of Richmond. It seeks to reach a wide audience by developing projects that integrate thoughtful interpretation in the humanities and social sciences with innovations in new media.


    The Digital Scholarship Lab: Blending Contemporary and Static Mapping to Visualize American History.
    Maps created and designed by Justin Madron and Nathaniel Ayers for “Southern Journey: The Migrations of the American South, 1790-2010”, received the Best Cartography award, the ICA and IMIA Recognition of Excellence in Cartography award, and third place in the Spatial Analysis using ArcGIS StoryMaps category from the 2021 Esri User Conference Map Gallery.
    Family Tree Magazine
    The DSL's Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States has been selected as one of the Family Tree Magazine's 101 Best Websites for Genealogy.
    The DSL has just released a new version of Photogrammar where users can view 170,000 photographs taken by the FSA and OWI agencies of the U.S. Federal Government between 1935 and 1943.
    Southern Journey
    Edward L. Ayers releases Southern Journey: The Migrations of the American South, 1790-2020 with maps designed by the DSL's Justin Madron and Nathaniel Ayers.

    Latest Maps

    Land Acquisition and Dipossession: Mapping the Homestead Act, 1863-1912

    The Homestead Act of 1862 offered Americans the opportunity to claim parcels of "public land," occupy and improve it for five years, and then receive title to it. This map visualizes over time and space the more than 2.3 million claims and 900,000 "patents" granting ownership made and issued in the half century after passage of the act.

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    Photogrammar provides a web-based visualization platform for exploring the 170,000 photographs taken by the FSA and OWI agencies of the U.S. Federal Government between 1935 and 1943.

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    Not Even Past: Social Vulnerability and the Legacy of Redlining

    Not Even Past maps redlining maps from the 1930s with maps of health dispartities today, showing enduring contours of marked inequality in American cities over the past century.

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    Digital Humanities Projects at UR


    Bunk is a shared home for the web’s most interesting writing and thinking about the American past. Join us to explore the multi-dimensional connections between past and present.

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    Photogrammar is a web-based platform for organizing, searching, and visualizing the 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI).

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    Virginia Secession Convention

    The project explores a topic of broad scholarly and public interest as the sesquicentennial of the Civil War approaches: How did the decision to secede--and start the bloodiest conflict in US history--come about?

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    Race and Racism

    The Race and Racism at the University of Richmond Project is an interdisciplinary initiative that documents, interrogates, and catalyzes community discussions on the history of race and racism at the university.

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    The Digital Scholarship Lab is:

    Robert K. Nelson
    Robert K. Nelson is the DSL’s director. He is an historian of nineteenth-century America. He holds a PhD in American studies from the College of William and Mary, and his work has appeared in the Journal of Social History and American Literature.
    Justin Madron
    Associate Director
    Justin Madron is the Digital Scholarship Lab’s Associate Director. He coordinates the development of digital scholarship projects, applications, and manages all processes involved in the production and organization of spatial data for the lab. He is responsible for GIS administration which involves consulting and advising faculty and other colleagues on GIS practices and assisting with GIS-related teaching and research projects. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from West Virginia University and a Master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Environmental Studies with a focus on Geographical Information Systems and Technologies.
    Nathaniel Ayers
    Visualization and Web Designer
    Nathaniel Ayers is the Digital Scholarship Lab’s visualization and web designer, serving as the head of the Lab’s design work and providing technical assistance to faculty and students. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts, Nathaniel has done programming and visualization work for the University of Virginia.
    Lauren Tilton
    Research Fellow
    Lauren Tilton is Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and Research Fellow at University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab. Her current book project focuses on participatory media in the 1960s and 1970s. She is the Co-PI of the project Participatory Media, which interactively engages with and presents participatory community media from the 1960s and 1970s. She is also a director of Photogrammar, a web-based platform for organizing, searching and visualizing the 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI). She is the co-author of Humanities Data in R (Springer, 2015).
    Edward L Ayers
    Senior Research Fellow
    Edward L. Ayers is Senior Research Fellow at the DSL. He is president emeritus and a professor of history at the University of Richmond. A scholar of the American South, he is the author of numerous books, including In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, and The Thin Light of Freedom, and is co-editor of the Valley of the Shadow digital archive. He is the co-primary investigator on “Visualizing Emancipation.”

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