From the University of Arkansas-Little Rock
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received a $325,043 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to create a rich collection of digitized material integrated into a map-based website that tracks how urban renewal changed the City of Little Rock in the decades following the Central High School desegregation crisis.
The UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture (CAHC) will lead the project, “Mapping Urban Fracture: Charting the Context and Consequence of the Little Rock Central High Crisis Project.” The center’s director, Dr. Deborah Baldwin, associate provost of collections and archives, will serve as the principal investigator for the three-year project that begins June 1.
CAHC received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2018 for an 18-month pilot project of the map that brought together humanities scholars and technical specialists to select, digitize, describe, and create a website making the resources available to the public. A prototype of the project can be found on the CAHC website.
The Mapping Urban Fracture project will create a virtual collection comprising approximately 700 new reports and maps created after 1989 and develop an access interface to research spatial segregation with meta and geospatial data. The website includes the digitization and geolocation of maps, architectural drawings, reports, and related photographs to address humanities issues and questions.
The project will create an aggregated collection of digital products that track the history of Little Rock through patterns of residential segregation, urban renewal, public school desegregation plans, and local elections and governance. While scholars will generate sample narratives to interpret the virtual collection, members of the public, particularly teachers and students, can find and create their own stories through the data.
The Mapping Urban Fracture project will allow the CAHC to place collections from various institutions together in a single, searchable database so that users can interact with digitized and described materials both spatially and visually. The project combines geographic, print, architectural, photographic, census, and election data to provide a complex portrait of the effects of government, politics, and growth on the urban environment.