May 6, 2021: Datathon Showcase – Computational Archival Storytelling with Jupyter Notebooks

The Advanced Information Collaboratory (AIC) was pleased to sponsor a public event showcasing some of the work conducted by MLIS graduate students in the INST742 class (“Implementation of Digital Curation”) at the University of Maryland. The class concluded with a 2-week datathon focused on a computational storytelling around the 1911 Charlotte, NC City Directory. This year, the entire 14-week class was articulated around this single collection.

“City directories are among the most important sources of information about urban areas and their inhabitants. They provide personal and professional information about a city’s residents as well as information about its business, civic, social, religious, charitable, and literary institutions.” [Library of Congress].

1. Graph Databases:
** Alexis HILL, Rosie GRANT **
focus on creating social networks of people, places, jobs, gender, race, and housing. See: (14′ 21″)
2. Data Visualization:
** Emily MOORE, Phillip NICHOLAS, Sara LUDEWIG **
use Tableau to visualize city directory entries. See: (14′ 39″)
3. Geospatial Transformations:
** Cliff MORRIS, Matt LaROCHE **
automatically geolocate all 15,000+ entries of the city directory. See: (16′ 39″)
4. Cleaning & Transforming:
** Alan WIERDAK, Anna ARISCO, Maureen JONES **
connect city directory entries to historical newspapers after using OpenRefine. See: (23′ 12″)
5. Digitization Management:
** Annabel THOMPSON, Bo LENHARDT, Britton SCHAMS **
analyze the pros and cons of optical character recognition (OCR). See: (13′ 33″)

They were joined by close to 20 members of the IMLS CT-LASER+ Piloting project (educators, technologists, and practitioners) and the iSchool DCIP Digital Curation for Information Professionals Certificate program.

-Authored by Richard Marciano