Introducing BARDSS is a website developed as part of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative, to explains and promote another digital project called BARDSS, the Baptismal Records Database for Slave Societies. BARDSS is intended to be a user-friendly and searchable online database that will make accessible detailed data from the baptismal records of thousands of African and African-descended individuals across the Americas. Because BARDSS is still a work in progress, we created this site to update about its progress and to discuss some of their features.
Our goal with this website is to socialize and receive feedback for the construction of this project before we launch the software. We discuss our decisions in relation to the structure of the fields, the selection of the data, and how we visualize future search tools. This democratic process of creating knowledge, we believe, is one of the main achievements of our nascent digital age. The site is divided in six sections including the landing page. We cover the majority of the key issues we faced while creating BARDSS. The pages explains, the records we used and what that type of information their contain. The Fields section detailed how we group the content of the baptismal records into categories. The Search section shows ho we envision the tools that users will have available to conduct different type of crossed search. Finally, the section called Visualization is a projection of what type of questions BARDSS can answer through its visualization tool. We hope that BARDSS will be not only be public as a finished digital tool, but that its creation will also be a public endeavor and that this website could help to achieve this goal