How do you form a historical narrative from the imperial expansion, industrialization, great literary works, and more that characterized Russia’s 19th century? Students in professor Louise McReynolds’ Spring 2019 History 480 course—Russia’s 19th Century: Cultural Splendor, Imperial Decay—explored digital methods while crafting historical narratives from primary and secondary materials. For their final project, they had the option of creating either a Story Map or an interactive timeline using Timeline JS. Displaying interactive collages of maps, photographs, and portraits, student projects investigate themes such as literature, terrorism, violent conquests and wars that formed the edges of the Russian empire.
The Research Hub’s GIS Librarian first visited the class to show students how to create digital maps. The class then received assistance twice from the Hub’s Data Visualization Librarian, and UNC Libraries’ Humanities Research and Digital Instruction Librarian. The librarians taught students how to use ArcGIS Online and Timeline JS, then helped them resolve any problems they encountered while working on their projects.
Image: Screenshot of UNC Department of History PhD student Nurlan Kabdylkhak’s story map