A quick (and long-overdue) update on my digital project:
Still working on my databases, in particular, the database on volunteer backgrounds that includes home locations, universities, racial identity, and gender). Currently, I am at 475 volunteers out of 970 (roughly). I also began to contact former volunteers and have had some fascinating and enriching conversations with Heather Booth, Gail Falk, and others. Much of this is preliminary. For this winter, I hope to digitize a couple of the post-summer movements of the volunteers. The long-term goal is to make this part – the post-summer networks and post-sixties work of the volunteers – the main draw of the digital project. But, before I can do that, I need to finish the back story – hence the databases.
And, I added another database…
In late summer, I decided to map the WATs line from Freedom Summer. Prior to, during, and after the summer, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) used the WATs line to communicate eyewitness accounts on the ground. By identifying and mapping these accounts, I hope to a) convey the violence during the summer and contextualize volunteer and staff experiences b) analyze the locations of violent acts in relation to voter registration, mass meetings, and freedom schools c) analyze the location of violent acts in relation to the grouping analysis map. Along with locating the various events during the summer, I have also linked the events directly to the WATs line (Thank you to Bruce Hartford, who has does some amazing work with digitizing movement documents).
If all goes as planned, I hope to have the first iteration of the summer map and site up and running by January. Check back then to see how the project has evolved since my earlier updates.