This project aims to build a map-based platform that presents historical documents of the nation-wide, urban renewal project in 1960's and 70's and to provide easy-to-use interfaces that can be used by former residents, archivists, researchers, and citizens. Ultimately, this platform aims to reconstruct a virtual neighborhood where people can share their memories by creating social networks of former residents.
Over the past four years, teams of archivists have digitized portions of National Archives RG195: General Records of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation [HOLC]. The records include surveys, memorandums, and maps of American neighborhoods in the 1930’s. Now that the records are available digitally, students and faculty members are working to curate the collection and “data-fy” the information contained within.
This paper describes innovative partnerships: university - federal agency (between the University of Maryland and the Office of Innovation at the National Archives and Records Administration - NARA) and university - industry (between the College of Information Studies or “iSchool” at the University of Maryland and Archive Analytics Solutions Ltd.) where we are developing automated scalable workflows that involve digitization, OCR, information extraction, and linking into interactive maps and graph databases, and where digital preservation and archiving are performed using an innovative NoSQ