The Mississippians were the most socially-complex peoples to ever inhabit prehistoric North America, and their sites generally date to between AD 1050 and AD 1500 (several groups in the Southeast United States continued to practice a Mississippian lifestyle at the time of European contact). Their lifeway was characterized by a ranked social structure with ascribed status differentiation, hierarchical inter-site political organization, ubiquitous cleared-field maize agriculture, and a set of common religious institutions and iconography. They dramatically modified their physical environments by clearing plazas and building earthen mounds of variable size and for various purposes, many of which are still evident on the landscape today. Mississippian groups inhabited an area spanning from northern Florida to Illinois and from the Atlantic plain to Eastern Oklahoma (though evidence of their influence is even more widespread). Among the most important and intriguing Mississippian archaeological sites are Aztalan in Wisconsin, Spiro in Oklahoma, Moundville in Alabama, Etowah in Georgia, Lake George in Mississippi, and Cahokia in Illinois Unfortunately, data and other materials pertaining to Mississippian sites are scattered throughout private offices, universities, museums, websites, and the minds of researchers. It can be difficult for researchers (particularly graduate students), to find the materials and information they need for their research projects. This is equally true for every step of the research process, whether you are developing a research problem (i.e. What has already been done? What questions need to be answered or reassessed?), trying to find or develop a data set (i.e. Where are collections curated and whom should you contact for access?), or writing up your results (i.e. What kind of supporting documents might you need to interpret and support your results?). This can be a time-consuming and frustrating process and sometimes it is hard to know where to begin. Furthermore, as a lot of work in Mississippian archaeology is based on inter-site comparison, it would be beneficial to compile information and materials in a way that facilitates such comparisons (i.e. similar scales and formats for maps and photographs when possible, a standardized set of basic site data, etc).
Created by Jennifer Bengston (2012 PhD, Anthropology), The Missisipian Archaeological Digital Repository (MADR) involves the collection, digitization, and organization of materials such as maps, photographs, field notes, publications, gray literature, bibliographies, websites, and raw data within a single digital repository, which will be generally organized by site. Created using KORA, an open source digital repository platform created by MATRIX (http:// kora.matrix.msu.edu/), MADR preserves materials in a digital format while improving scholarly accessibility and providing an integrated, searchable network of relationships between diverse types and sets of information. Due to the sensitive nature of some of these materials, the complete repository is not available for unhindered public use.
While the initial core content of MADR is from one particular site (Aztlan) generously contributed to the project by Dr. Lynne Goldstein (Anthropology), the ultimate goal is to allow widespread access for and contribution by private sector archaeologists, public sector archaeologists, and academic archaeologists, and students (both graduate and undergraduate).
Imbiza 1.0: A Digital Repository of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa is an audiovisual digital repository of the 2010 Soccer World Cup which was held in South Africa from June-July 2010.
rapKenya is intended to be a one-stop online resource for people interested in accessing and learning more about Kenyan hip-hop culture, particularly rap music. There are two components of this project:
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.
The Cuboriente website project is dedicated to a digital image mapping of Africa-inspired religio-cultural heritage in the eastern, Oriente region of Cuba.
Between 1942 and 1960s, television networks spread across the United States like wildfire. “By 1954, more than 40 million sets were around.”
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.
Remnants of Slavery serves as a prototype viewing platform for digital scans of objects from Université Cheikh Anta Diop and their archaeological collection from Gorée Island housed in Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire (IFAN).
The Xicano Cookbook is a digital essay documenting Xicano culture in the Great Lakes region. With a special emphasis on food practice, visual art, and oral history, it articulates the ways in which Xicanos have survived and thrived on Anishinaabe land in the midst of ongoing colonialism.
Visualizing Street Harassment is an online map-based visualization of a born-digital cultural event, the “10 Hours of Walking…” video meme.
The Chenchu are one among several tribal communities who live in India. They are traditionally defined as a hunter-gatherer community, living primarily in the Nallamalai forests of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, India.
The Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) Historic Cemetery was re-discovered in 2012 due to construction related to expansion and seismic retrofitting at the west end of the hospital property.
The Saharan World at a Glance (SWAG) is a mobile-first digital text book. The site was designed specifically with incoming undergraduate students in mind. The site’s content is framed around the Saharan World: the North African coast, the Sahara, and the Sahel.
Wheelwomen at Work: Mapping Women’s Involvement in the Nineteenth-Century Bicycle Industry is a digital heritage project which documents the diverse ways American women engaged in the bicycle industry as inventors, factory workers, saleswomen and mechanics from 1889 to 1900.
In 410 C.E., the Roman Empire withdrew its administration and armies from England. Increasingly over the course of the 5th century, Germanic and Northern European tribal groups began to migrate into England.
At the core of the Cultual Heritage Informatics Initiative is a strong ethos of building – the idea that one can acquire a deeper understanding of tools, technologies, platforms, and systems (both in terms of application and broader implications) through development. Both the CHI Graduate Fellowship Program and Fieldschool are intensely project oriented. Students learn digital cultural heritage methods by building tools, applications, and digital user experiences. The added benefit is that students also have the opportunity to make a tangible contribution to the cultural heritage community.