Class – Spring 2018


WF 10:05-11:20

  • Wednesdays in Perkins Library 218
  • Fridays in Rubenstein Library 150

Note: syllabus readings etc. will be kept up to date on this class blog. Always check online for the latest info.

Week 1: Course Overview

Jan 12 (F)

  • Introduction
  • Course Overview
  • Primary Source review
  • Digital Durham
  • Story+
  • Review of Sources
  • Intro to working in Rubenstein
  • First blog post due before next class – Introduction posted on the class blog (let us know if you have trouble posting)

Week 2: Working with the Archives

Jan 17 (W) – Perkins 218

  • Blog post due: Introduce yourself to the group! (please include a photo)
  • McKemmish’s “Evidence of Me
  • Assignment One on Sakai due before class

Jan 19 (F) – Rubenstein 150 (remember to leave your stuff in the cubbies in back)


  • Edward Ayers, Southern Crossing, Chapters 1-3  [3-70]

There are at least three ways to access this reading.

You can check out printed volume for 3 hours from Perkins Reserve (Jan. 16, 2018 late afternoon and beyond)


Get an electronic copy from Duke Library Catalog.  Click “Get it at Duke” button and print your reading.

Check the bookstore. This book is also available for Kindle and used from Barnes and Noble

In Class:

  • Readings discussion
  • Hands On with the Archives: Orange County Tax List (digital version; start on page 110)
  • Spreadsheet for transcribing data (work in progress)
  • Blog post describing what you discovered in the archival materials due before next class – think about how it relates to the readings. Categorize as Blog Post 02.

Week 3: Society and Education in Black and White

Jan 24 (W)


  • Edward Ayers, Southern Crossing, Chapters 4-6  [71-133]

In Class:

  • Review Blogs
  • Readings discussion

Jan 26 (F)


  • Ayers chapters 5-6
  • James Leloudis, Schooling the New South: Pedagogy, Self, and Society in North Carolina, 1880-1920 Chapter 1

In Class:

Week 4: Proud Shoes

Jan 31 (W)

Readings: [note on the readings]

In Class:

Feb 2 (F)


  • Proud Shoes (first half)
  • One paragraph paper topic due before  class (blog post)

In Class:

  • Rubenstein Library (finish registration if you haven’t done so already – go into the main door near Rubenstein 150 and ask at the desk)
  • Working on Census Data – education, immigration, households
  • Review other primary data source options.
  • Continue thinking about research paper topics in anticipation of Research Paper Proposal (now due Feb 12).
  • Don’t forget to order your research materials by Tuesday of next week!
  • Blog Post due before next class.  Pick two interesting passages from the first half of Proud Shoes (including page numbers) that relate to what we’ve studied so far.  Describe their signficance briefly in anticipation of class on Wednesday. Categorize as Blog Post 04 – Proud Shoes.

Week 5: Proud Shoes  and Paper Proposals

Feb 6 (T)

  • By Tuesday, order your materials from Rubenstein Library from the Duke Libraries page and email from within the request form: “Hi, it’s X! I can’t wait to look at this stuff Friday!” Typically content located off-site comes within 48 hours.

Feb 7 (W)


In Class:

  • Proud Shoes discussion
  • Orange County Tax Lists in relation to Proud Shoes
  • check out the Pauli Murray Project online

Feb 9 (F)


  • continue planning/researching paper topics

In Class:

  • Guided research time in Rubenstein Library
  • Blog Post 05 – Primary Sources: Summarize your findings from the primary source materials. Posting of images of key docs encouraged. How will this advance your research?

Week 6: Entrepreneurship and Business

February 12 (M)

Feb 14 (W)


  • Kenzer, selections from Enterprising Southerners: Black Economic Success in North Carolina, 1865-1915  Chapter 1; Chapter 2; Chapter 5

In Class:

  • Discussion of paper proposals
  • Kenzer readings discussion

Feb 16 (F)


In Class:

  • Ownby readings discussion
  • Hands on (in class)
    • Rigsbee Ledgers – looking through and thinking about what to look for:
      • luxury items?
      • items bought by women? women’s accounts?
      • patterns of shopping?
      • cash, credit, labor, goods?
      • race? (cross-ref with other resources?)
    • Orange County Tax Lists (Internet Archive resource starting on page 110)
    • Census Data ( through Duke Libraries)
    • Historic Newspapers – Chronicling America
      • use the advanced search feature
      • limit by state (to get NC)
      • look through title by title
      • shift click to select newspapers
      • recommended to use the phrase box and limit the dates
    • Durham City Directories
  • Blog Post 06 – Ledgers and Accounts due before next class. What did you discover in your researches?   Reflect on the readings and your discoveries this week.

Week 7: Sorting Out the New South

Feb 21 (W)


In Class:

Feb 23 (F) 

  • Working in the Rare Book Room at Rubenstein on your research materials
    • You will need to request materials ahead of time – so do it Wednesday
    • Also see in the Duke Libraries
  • Blog Post 07 – Race and Class is due before next class. Discuss the intersections of race and class in urban development. Do you see these traces in the archival records we have explored?

Week 8: Urbanization: Race, Class, and Gender

Feb 28 (W)


In Class:

  • Discussion of readings
  • Oliver B Quick, Milestones Along the Color Line, 1922.
  • Discussion of secondary source research processes  – featured sources: America: History and Life and JStor

Mar 2 (F) 

Readings/Activities Before Class:

  • Before class: find at least one source using JStor or other academic scholarly databases that the Library provides (a.k.a. not Google). Put a link on the blog, along with notes on how it might be valuable. This Week 08 Blog Post – Finding Sources is exceptionally due on Friday.
  • Come to class with a question about how you are working through your materials to share with your class
  • Bird by Bird selections TBA

In Class:

  • Doing searches for research materials
  • Worldcat tips
  • Chicago Manual of Style (for citations)
  • Discussion of Bird by Bird and uses of evidence in writing
  • Small group discussion of paper sources and questions

Week 9:  Research

Mar 7 (W)

  • Archival Work Day – ask for new content ahead of time if needed. Be sure to take photos of any items you’d want to use in a digital project version of your paper.

Mar 9 (F)

  • Short Presentation of papers (3 minutes)
  • Week 09 Blog Post – Elevator Chat version of your paper. Be able to say what your paper is about to an audience who isn’t familiar with it. Due before class meeting as an aid to prep your presentation.
  • Research Paper Drafts due in Sakai at 11:59PM


Week 11: Digitizing the Archives

Mar 21 (W)

Reading before Class:

In Class:

  • Revisiting the Orange County Tax Lists
  • Tax List Spreadsheet
  • Map of Durham 1881 | lower rez
  • Google Earth (download and install; Prefs to Decimal Degrees)
  • Discussion: The objectivity of data. What can we do with the table? How can we enrich, enhance, remix, share?
  • For next class: How can we combine a map with historical info to create a new digital resource? (continue project)
    • Use your map overlay or download ours.
    • Right click to create a folder. Click on your folder to automatically put your points in the folder automatically.
    • Create points for individual houses and other structures in your assigned quadrant using Google Earth. Give a title to each of your points. Feel free to provide additional info if you wish.
    • Right Click in Google Earth and Save Place as a KMZ file for your quadrant.
    • Email to before next class.

Mar 23 (F)

Before class:

  • Continue with maps project and email your KMZ files to before class.

In class:

  • Hands On:
    • Review Spreadsheets/Mapping projects
    • Discussion of research papers and next steps
  • Blog Post 10/11 – Blog on Historical Evidence and Digitizing the Archives. What decisions do you need to make as you create an archive? How do you indicate them?

Week 12: Mapping Durham

Mar 28 (W)

In Class:

Mar 30 (F):

In Class: Mapping the HOLC Continued

  • Google Earth and Maps with HOLC 1937
    • Download KMZ with embedded map
    • In teams: create polygons in Google Earth (one color per team)
    • Save As KML File
    • upload KML files as layers to the existing, shared MyMaps project, labeling them appropriately in MyMaps (note: you also draw and edit polygons directly in MyMaps but it may be easier to trace the historic layer using Google Earth instead)
    • Annotate with page links of description files by copying in the image links using the image add tool in MyMaps
    • Add in additional notes or comment into the pop-up window. You might include some key points from the Area Description Files, for example.

Week 13: Digital Storytelling

April 2 (M)

Apr 4 (W)

Before class:

  • Browse the Knightlab website projects, focusing on TimelinesJS – think about what kinds of features you like and what kinds of projects would be suited to the Timeline or the Storymap.

In Class:

Additional Data Sources

Apr 6 (F)

Before Class:

  • Continue working on the Timeline, including elements from your own research  project
  • Reading: “What is Interaction Design?” selection

In Class:

Week 14: The Space of the City & Final Projects

Apr 11 (W)

Readings Due Before Class:

In Class:

  • Readings discussion, including possible application to projects
  • Project Discussion

Apr 13 (F)

In Class:

  • In the Archive – Digital Durham Crowd-Sourcing in Rubenstein Library
    • Shared Box Folder
      • Original Image files (full size) – Create a folder for your image set and upload into it
        • naming conventions? other sizes? additional edits?
      • Full Citation Information – copy the citation information from the Library Database and paste into a Word Doc or Box Note in your folder
    • Shared Spreadsheet tracking the images we have created
  • Web-Accessible Versions: If you want to put copies of any of these images on the web so you can access them from timelines, blog, storymaps etc., upload them using Filezilla.
    • Filezilla – software for file transfers
    • FTP server/host:
    • Username:
      FTP & explicit FTPS port:  21
      Password: DD2018Rubenstein
    • The URL will be
      • If you want to create your own subfolder, create it using Filezilla or on your desktop them move the whole thing – make sure you drag files into the right place
      • Naming conventions: no spaces or special characters for web file names; use PNG or JPG filetypes for images
      • Be aware that very large files can slow down load times. Consider resizing down using Photoshop, Preview, or other image-editing tools
  • Blog Post 14: Digital Archives. What are the challenges and opportunities of creating digital archives together? What kinds of file formats and information should be included, for both your own projects and future work with these materials? And what is the difference between working with original materials and digital copies? Think about the benefits and limitations of each. Tag with Blog Post 14 Category.

Week 15: Final Digital Projects

Apr 18 (W)

Apr 20 (F)

Before Class:

  • Review the Digital Durham website carefully. Come to class prepared to discuss what’s next for Digital Durham, based on what you see on the site, your own experiences, and additional knowledge you my have on the subject.

In Class:

Week 16: Office Hours/Consulting

  • TBA

Final Exams:

Tuesday, May 1, 2:00-5:00PM at Rubenstein 249 (Carpenter Board Room)

  • Final Project Presentations: 10 minutes each with slides explaining the project
  • Post final project links on the blog along with your presentation slides