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Week 2 Notes


January 21, 2015 by Adina Langer

During our second class, we discussed creating a style guide for our class website, had some lively conversation about the week’s readings and had an informative presentation from Nicole Knox and Heather Hussey-Coker of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. 

Digital History Class Notes Week Two

January 20, 2015


4:30 p.m.  – 4:50 p.m.

  • Questions or issues since first class?

    • BeltLine tour sign-ups
    • Readings
    • Website
  • Class website assignment guidelines

    • Please post assignments by 3:00 p.m. on their due date.
    • Remember that you are writing for a public audience, so copy editing is important.
      • Watch out for typos, grammar mistakes, and missing words.
    • Categories vs. Tags


4:50 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.

  • Reading discussion

    • Time management tools
    • Creating and navigating the archive
      • Context, context, context
      • Willingness to show your methods
      • Pre-publishing, history of scholarship
      • Showing your methodology as a professional historian can be a valid teaching tool.
    • Visual literacy
      • We aren’t educating people to think historically with images and sounds as well as we should be…
      • What role do images play in historical scholarship?
        • Tagging of abstract ideas
      • What about context?
        • It is usually removed from its original context.
      • Wikipedia, crowd-sourced scholarship, and informal publishing
        • What is a tertiary source?
          • An encyclopedia, a listing of short biographies, a bibliography (annotated), footnotes.
          • A launchpoint
        • Is NPOV achievable?
          • Not necessarily unbiased, but if there are opposing arguments, then they are represented proportionally.
        • What about the ban on primary research?
          • You can’t put your own research up which seems problematic for professional historians, but is part of NPOV and actually protects historians from under-vetted interpretations.
        • Collaboration and the question of authority
          • Creator has authority to block people personally
          • Locking down pages that get too controversial and vandalized…
            • There are different tiers of lock-down including removing anonymous editing.
          • What role should blogs play?
        • Thinking about how technology has changed in past 15-20 years since some of these essay were written means that questions they were asking are still open and relevant, but questions about how we access content are different.
          • Turn toward mobile tech is key.
        • Memory vs. History?
          • Wikipedia as a site of memory, but that actually enriches your understanding of the past.
          • Wikipedia becomes a primary source instead of a tertiary source in that context.


5:50 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

  • Break


6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

  • Nicole Knox and Heather Hussey-Coker will present on the Atlanta BeltLine Project

    • Nicole Knox, Communications Coordinator – generates content for the website, social media, and print publications, as well as interacting with media and the general public. Supports marketing and branding efforts, and coordinates planning and outreach around media events.
    • Heather Hussey-Coker, Program Manager, involved in the project since 2005.
    • Rail corridors built by different companies, bypasses (beltlines) around the heart of the city to avoid hubub and loggerjams
      • 1840s to 1870s
      • Complete by 1900
      • Southern Railway, Atlanta and West Point, Louisville and Nashville, Seabord Airline…
    • ½ mile buffer around these rail corridors includes 19% of city’s landmass.
    • 20% of new housing units to be affordable for city workforce.
    • Environmental remediation
    • Historic preservation and public art
    • Terminus— Western and Atlantic railroad.
    • Circulating people within the city
    • Ryan Gravel’s master’s thesis, 1999– planning a way to revitalize the city around the old beltlines by linking them to become one BeltLine.
    • 2002-2004 community conversation, Kathy Willard becomes city council president
    • Rail corridor and trail corridor and parks and affordable housing — Rails to Trails, Path Foundation, Trust for Public Land
    • 2005 Atlanta BeltLine Partnership to garner private support for project
      • They keep vision of the BeltLine going, do the tours, raise funds
    • Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. is the implementation agency (ABI)
    • Sanborn Maps, UGA resource, search Fulton County (whole BeltLine is in Fulton County)
    • 1898 Cotton States International Expo happened along EastSide trail
      • Southern Railway had to increase trains for expo
      • Stone balustrades in Piedmont Park
      • Atlanta History Center has great photos…
    • Inman Park Trolley Barn
      • 1889 to serve first streetcar suburb– designed by Joel Hurt
    • Ponce Park
      • Original baseball ball park burnt down in 1923— minor league Atlanta Crackers — next to Old Sears Building
        • magnolia trees that were in the outfield are still on the Eastside trail
      • Ponce de Leon Park (amusement park) Georgia Power powered streetcar to the amusement park.
      • Sears Building (now Ponce City Market)
        • 2 million square ft. brick building (largest in the southeast)
        • Adjacent train tracks brought materials to the building
        • Jamestown Developer preserving trestle inside
        • (Historic 4th Ward Park eliminated flooding problem through 2 acre lake)
        • Atlanta’s topography— this was part of the Peachtree Creek system— Fountains in basement of Sears building that were basically daylighting Clear Creek
      • Cabbagetown and Oakland Cemetary, and Cotton Mill (now lofts)
        • Hulsey Yard makes transit more challenging
        • Oakland Cemetary is ½ mile from BeltLine instead of ¼ mile from the BeltLine (same thing is probably true of Grant Park)
      • Ford Factory — model T tires show up on the BeltLine
        • Using parts of old rails in Art on the Betline
        • Reusing bridges, tunnels, etc.
      • Southwest Atlanta
        • Neighborhoods with single family homes
        • Westside Trail being constructed
        • Atlanta BeltLine interactive map has interesting blurbs for neighborhoods on SouthWest side
        • White Hall Tavern
          • West End development
        • Streetcars in West Atlanta
        • Westview Cemetary
        • Historic Streetcar Systems in Georgia— research under contract for Georgia Department of Transportation
        • State Farmer’s Market site — Murphy’s Crossing park site — BeltLine wants to hold onto key sites to help seed development…
      • has database of artworks and also BeltLine blog has recycled art pieces too.


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