Digital Curation Showcase
Social Justice & Computational Archival Storytelling using Jupyter Notebooks
December 9, 2021

 Forty-four students from the UMD Undergraduate iSchool Information Science INST341 class “Introduction to Digital Curation,” presented their fall 2021 team projects at a public event showcasing 9 projects, centered around 4 themes: 1.Redlining, 2.Japanese American WWII Incarceration Camps, 3.Urban Renewal, and 4.Spelman College Alumnae Archives.

Holly Smith, Spelman College Digital Archivist, applauded the use of digital curation to amplify the lives of Spelman alumnae and research by and about Black women overall.”

Geoff Froh, Deputy Director at, stated that “Projects on Japanese American WWII Incarceration represent some amazing work where students should be proud not only for their skilled application of novel tools and approaches to exploring archival materials, but also for the positive impact this kind of scholarship can have on understanding the complex and often difficult history of our society.”

Priscilla Robinson, Researcher, Community Leader & Director of the Urban Renewal Impact initiative, states: ” I am sincerely appreciative of the commitment and research that Dr. Richard Maricano and his students are contributing to understanding the redlining process and the impact of the Urban Renewal implementation.  Visiting the valuation of Urban Renewal acquired property compared to those current property values will be instrumental during the ongoing reparation discussions.  I am most hopeful that information presented will be an asset to the end results. As a researcher and community member who lived through the implementation, I am forever grateful for the dedication.”

Mark Conrad, Consultant, former Digital Archivist at NARA & AI-Collaboratory co-founder), shares that: “The student teams that focused on Redlining brought unique perspectives to the far-reaching legacy of this terrible practice. They examined issues from the macro – examining the intersections between redlining and the Great Migration – to the micro – examining a single Black family in a Sacramento neighborhood in the 1930s and 40s. They also explored the impact of redlining and gentrification on two neighborhoods in Baltimore – one “red” and one “green.” Using a variety of tools for data cleaning, analysis, and visualization they focused new lenses on the issues surrounding redlining. They are to be congratulated for their work.”

  1. Redlining
  • Redlining in Neighborhoods of Baltimore

Video Link


The team uses the HOLC Redlining map for Baltimore and discusses “The Tale of Two Baltimores” wrt to life expectancy and social vulnerability. A discussion on the relationship between redlining and gentrification is initiated and two neighborhoods are highlighted: Locus Point (South Baltimore) – a red area, and Guilford / Homeland (North Baltimore) – a green area. A set of impactful concluding remarks is made on remedies to the status quo.

  • The Case of Redlining in Sacramento: a Tale of a Neighborhood
Video Link

Segen TIRFE / John GILLIGAN / Michael KELLEY / Stephanie MOON

The team focused on Redlining in Sacramento, CA in 1938, showing the particular correlation between “blackness” and “redness” in the color grading of neighborhoods. Contextual information on the Great Migration for Black families was provided. The T-RACES website was used to select a particular neighborhood, C-20, which indicated the presence of a single black family.  The team used 1940 Census data to identify families of color (Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and Black) in that neighborhood and uncovered details on that one lone black family. Finally housing prices vs. income in 1939 was graphed.

  1. Japanese American WWII Incarceration Camps
  • A Tale of the Dislocation of a Neighborhood: from Sacramento to the Camps

Video Link

Geoffrey DeMATTIA / Jacob SAMILOW / Maxwell MORRIS / Deion STEWART / Ashtin RICHARDS / Jill TRAN

The team starts by examining the 1938 redlining data for Sacramento to hone in on the C-20 area, and uses its Area Description to triangulate with 1940 Census data, which reveals 13 Japanese American families. The team follows the journey of 3 families (Nishimi, Kawada, Takahashi) and using WRA Form 26, FAR data, and Incident Cards, sheds details on their tragic trials and tribulations, showing along the way connections with Sacramento’s vibrant Japan Town.

This is the first such known study to combine these various datasets to reveal the fate of deported families.

  • The 1943 Penal Colonies of Moab and Leupp: “Isolation Center”s as a “Dress Rehearsal” for Tule Lake

Video Link

Isaac HERNANDEZ / Abel DEMISS / Victoria HA / Logan QIAO / Akif ZAMAN

A Tableau Storyline was developed showing: (1) Resistance to Selective Service Registration at Tule Lake resulting in repression and isolation in Feb. and March 1943, where the case of Masao Kawate is followed from his arrest to his deportation to the penal colony of Moab, UT, (2) Moab, UT & Leupp, AZ Penal Colony Populations in 1943 with details on the April 14, 1943 Moab Incident, (3) Flow maps showing the movement of people into and out of Moab & Leupp, and (4) Renunciations of citizenship.

Members of  student project group with members of the NHK Japan Broadcasting Corp, filming a documentary on Masao Kawate’s life in the camps and interviewing students on their work.

[Left to Right: Akira BANCHI (NHK Japan TV Los Angeles), Isaac HERNANDEZ (student team), Haruo KAWATE (son of Masao Kawate and author of No-No Boy ), Akif ZAMAN (student team), cameraman (NHK Japan Tokyo), and Yutaka SAKAI (NHK Japan Tokyo TV producer)]


  • Investigate the Individuals Arrested, Released, and Held in the Stockade at Tule Lake

Video Link

Gabrielle FAGBOHUNKA / Dania ABDO / John CONNOR / Dario LEON / Pieter SIMATUPANG

The focus of this project is the infamous stockade, a prison within the prison of Tule Lake where hundreds were arrested. A snapshot of who was still in the stockade on May 31, 1944 is given. Tableau-based visualizations and analyses are provided.

  • Death and Disease in the Tule Lake Incarceration Camp

Video Link

Quest HOLLIS / Shahin KHAZAELI / Mohammud MOSSA / Victoria NATHANIEL / Ajjad RAZVI

An exhaustive list of deaths at Tule Lake is studied with over 300 deaths from 1942 to 1946. Death statistics are provided by marital status, age, birthplace, and year.

  • Acts of Resistance by Women in the Tule Lake Incarceration Camp

Video Link

Adeyinka TELLI / Naz WELDE-GIORGIS / Dag ASFAW / George CHEN / May DONG

A July 27, 1944 Stockade petition to release a prisoner, Tom Yoshiyama, by his wife and mother-in-law is the starting point of this study. The project then follows Tom on a hunger strike in the stockade, and traces him back to the Nov. 1, 1943 Negotiating Committee of 17 camp members who meets with Camp Director, Raymond Best, and WRA Director, Dillon S. Myer. The project then tries to determine which of the Committee members are still held in the Stockade 7 months later on May 31, 1944, and who is involved in a hunger strike.

  1. Urban Renewal
  • Measuring the Loss of Inter-Generational Wealth in Asheville during Urban Renewal

Video Link

Daniel RONG / Anna KAFRUNE / Xander SMEAD / Yicheng WANG / Zhaojie YIN

The team focuses on the Southside neighborhood of Asheville during Urban Renewal (1965-1980), and describes how African American families and business were uprooted. Matching Urban Renewal and current parcels, the Team codes a calculator using Python that takes each property value from the 60s and 70s and calculates its current value based on inflation rates.

The case study presented focuses on historical Block 4. The objective is to contribute objective valuations to help with discussions in Asheville on reparations.

  1. Spelman College Archives
  • Showcasing the Experiences of Spelman College Alumnae

Video Link

Maham SOHAIL / Sherifat BAKARE / Trevor GIMES-MANN / Devin HENDRICK / Charles SMITH

The team’s main goal is to showcase and highlight the experiences of alumnae and students who attended Spelman College, as evidenced by Magazines (Messenger & Spotlight), Catalogs, Newspapers (Campus Mirror), Yearbooks, and Photo Collections. Traces of alumnae in these collections are linked together using the Neo4j graph database. Tayari Jones (Class of 1991), Tanya Trippett (Class of 1981), Elizabeth G. King (Class of 1943), Gertrude Emily Foster (Class of 1925), and Clara Howard (Class of 1887) are explored.

They were joined by over 20 international experts (US: California, Washington, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New York / Japan / France):

  • Japanese American Camp Projects (Teams 2.1 to 2.5):
    • Geoff Froh (Deputy Director at
    • Lencia Beltran (Drexel LEADING Fellow & Digital Archivist at UNC Wilmington)
    • NHK Japan Broadcasting Corp. — Documentary Producers (Yutaka SAKAI, producer & Masako NAKAZATO, director & Akira BANCHI, TV Producer at B-Pictures & Haruo KAWATE, Author of “No-No Boy”)
    • Sarah Buchanan (Faculty at the U. Missouri iSchool)
    • Paul Chiba (Marketing Director at Wag Branding)
  • Spelman Archives (Team 3):
    • Holly Smith (Spelman Digital Archivist)
    • Vedat Diker (InfoSci Director at UMD iSchool)
    • Joe Sherren (Archives Public Education Lead at UMD iSchool)
    • Kenneth Chandler (Black Women’s History Archivist)
    • Ron Padron (Interim Director for Undergraduate Operations at UMD iSchool)
  • Urban Renewal in Asheville (Team 4):
    • Priscilla Robinson ( Founder)
    • Myeong Lee (Faculty and Dir. of the Community Informatics Lab at George Mason U.)
    • Ray McCoy, Esq. (Attorney, Educator, and Labor Arbitrator)
    • Robert Parker (Researcher and Advisor to collectors, museums, and foundations)
    • Kari Fenelon (Artist at Fenelon Sanctuary)
  • Redlining (Teams 5.1 & 5.2):
    • Michael Kurtz (Consultant & former Assistant Archivist for Records Services at NARA)
    • Mark Conrad (Consultant & former Digital Archivist at NARA)
    • Carol Marciano (Educator & Researcher)
    • Armand Fenelon (Vegan Chef, Poet & Pathfinder)