David Pettegrew, Jeff Erikson, Rachel Carey, and Rachel Morris (Messiah College), Albert Sarvis and Dan Stolyarov (Harrisburg University of Science and Technology)
In spring 2014, faculty and students from Messiah College and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology launched a new digital initiative to document the rapid growth and transformation of Harrisburg through its City Beautiful movement. Between 1900 and 1930, a movement of beautification and urban improvement transformed Harrisburg from a dirty industrial town along the banks of the Susquehanna River into a growing city with a splendid new capitol, extensive green spaces, upgraded sewage systems and pavement, and a booming population. To document this moment of change, Professor David Pettegrew and his students in Digital History keyed the United States census data for the city in 1900, digitized historical records from county and state archives, and launched Omeka (www.citybeautiful.omeka.net) and WordPress websites (www.digitalharrisburg.com) presenting primary source documents, photos, and exhibits. Professors Jeff Erikson and Albert Sarvis worked with their GIS students at Messiah and Harrisburg University to digitize an atlas of the city in 1901 relating the census data to geocoded addresses in GIS. During the summer and fall, students (will) continue to normalize the census data and relate it to maps in GIS. In this presentation, a group of faculty and students will discuss and demo the project in its current state and outline plans for extending the project. Our goal is to integrate historical records, demographic data, and geospatial data to create a high-resolution map that illustrates the tremendous social and physical changes in the capital city at an important moment in its past.