Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative

Hosted and administered by the Department of Anthropology in partnership with MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University, The Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative is a platform for interdisciplinary scholarly collaboration in the domain of digital cultural heritage. In addition, the initiative strives to equip students with the methodological skills necessary to creatively apply information, communication, and computing technology to cultural heritage materials, questions, and challenges. 

learn more about the CHI Initiative »

from the Cultural Heritage Informatics blog:

Mortuary Mapping Summer Update

August 22, 2015 | Lisa Bright Hi! After 5 weeks of surprisingly highly productive research in California, I've returned to MSU.  I took nearly 2,000 pictures, 500+ screen shots, searched 50 years of newspapers, 15 roles of microfilm, and visited 6 archives.  I truly didn't expect to come back with that much data.  Some of the archival documentation is sensitive in nature (Coroner's Inquest Reports, Death Certificates, etc.), and some of the archives have tighter permissions on sharing images of objects they own.  Therefore, with the permission of the California Room at the San Jose Public Library I've added a series of images of Infirmary Fund receipts from the Clyde Arbuckle Research Collection.  These images record receipts of warrants/claims paid out by the Santa Clara County Infirmary Fund during the 1880's.  They present a unique window into relief efforts to aid the poor/indigent members of the community, as well as the daily operating costs of the hospital.  Of particular interest (and a very exciting find for me), are receipts 603, 633 and 634 from 1886 which all relate to digging graves, opening graves, and burying indigents.  As I sort through the pictures and data collected this summer, I hope to add more information to the newly created Archival Research section of Mortuary Mapping.  Please feel free to take a look, and let me know if you have any questions (or better suggestions on transcribing the handwriting!).

Current and Recent CHI Projects


The Lansing area has a long and deep history of use by Native communities in the Great Lakes. While there were only a few permanent habitations in the area, it was well known as a point of transit and a place to gather resources.

Read More

Visualizing Southern Television

Between 1942 and 1960s, television networks spread across the United States like wildfire. “By 1954, more than 40 million sets were around."

Read More


The Cuboriente website project is dedicated to a digital image mapping of Africa-inspired religio-cultural heritage in the eastern, Oriente region of Cuba. 

Read More

Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Map

Digitizing and preserving African American history and heritage is an important mission in the digital age.  Providing access to K-12 and undergraduate students and educators, as well as the community at large, is the largest challenge. Read More