The Mapping American Social Movements project is created by Professor James N. Gregory (refer to the project’s homepage below). The site is associated with the University of Washington. In addition to mentioned institute, the project collaborates with the Networked Labor project that is managed at UCLA by Professor Tobias Higbie. Professor Gregory is not the only individual who contributes to the site’s content. The digital project includes: professors who come from various universities across the country, research associates, technology advisors, and student researchers. The overall project is not complete. The site is updated monthly and informational mistakes are fixed constantly. Contributors use tools such as Google Maps and Tableau Public to create the site’s content. After analyzing the type of content present on the site, I would categorize the site as a digital archive because it consists of a collection of primary sources that discusses American social demonstrations. I choose to explore this site due to my fascination of American history and curiosity toward analyzing how protest, riots, and social injustices shaped American culture.
The site’s scope covers American social movements that occurred between 1870s to 2006. The digital project is geared not only toward the general public, but also toward teachers. The site ultimately displays information to those who are interested in visual representations of social movements that transpired within the United States. Teachers can use this project for classroom learning. The site has three units that cover topics such as Women’s Suffrage, SNCC History, and CIO Unions (refer to unit division below) . Each section has observations and discussion questions that high school and college instructors can integrate into lesson plans.
Subsequently, the site’s objectives can be described as providing an additional outlet for readers to learn about the social movements in America. The use of over 120 interactive maps, data tables, and charts allows readers to have an ample amount of visual representations on various social demonstrations. It is fairly easy to navigate through the site. The digital project has nine categories such as, 1870s-1930s, Black Freedom Movements, Chicanx/Latinx Movements, and Asian American. Each category has specific social movements that readers can explore in detail. For instance, the IWW social movements can be found under the larger category of 1870s-1930s. The subcategories has and array of sources, such as photographs and essays that enhance the information portrayed on the interactive maps. Readers can fully engage with the maps on the digital project through its effective organizational and technological features. The maps are not only color coded based on density, topic, and region, but they also allow readers to manipulate the size of maps in order to focus on specific captions (refer to illustration of an IWW map below). I would not add or remove anything from the site because it effectively gives a holistic approach to American social movements.
With all things considered, there are several research topics that can formulate from this digital project. Topics can include: What regions were mostly affected by the IWW? , How did the Black Panthers organize protests? , and What were the demographics of the Communist Party? This site compares to the other websites that I have explored because it holds an effective number of credible sources that illustrates American culture in a genuine manner. I would recommend this digital project to other students and would return to this site for future papers because the it creates a space for extensive research and provides additional, independent websites such as Upton Sinclair’s End Poverty in Californian Campaign and America’s Great Migrations that scholars can use for further sources and perspectives.