Tubman Talks: “Linking Open Historical Data of the African Diaspora: Methods of Database Design and the Language of Metadata Repositories,” 2 November 2017

November 2, 2017 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Tubman Resource Centre, YL 314
York University

Dr. Henry B. Lovejoy will present a paper entitled, Linking Open Historical Data of the African Diaspora: Methods of Database Design and the Language of Metadata Repositories.


African diaspora history has a robust series of digital projects that are arguably advancing the field through the accessibility of terabytes of digitized primary sources. Such complimentary resources have the potential to link together and create previously unknown connections among the victims of slavery, geographic locations, historical events, and digital objects. As scholars and researchers begin to sort through massive digital collections, and re-organize that information into spreadsheets, a new vocabulary has emerged that speaks to the process in which to connect various silos of information and form networks among linkable open data. Using the example of liberatedafricans.org, this talk will examine theoretical approaches to database design and the development of a metadata language with an international group of historians and programmers based at Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University.


Dr. Henry B. Lovejoy is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He specializes in the history of Africa and the African Diaspora in the Atlantic World. His biography, Prieto: A “Yoruba King” in Colonial Cuba during the Age of Revolutions, will be released with the University of North Carolina Press in the fall of 2018. In advancing methods in Digital History, he created Liberated Africans (liberatedafricans.org); and experiments with Historical GIS. This academic year, he is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities and Andrew J. Mellon Foundation fellowship for digital publication.


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