Cultural Explorer

Cultural Explorer

Cultural Explorer demonstrates the potential for new technologies to transform the nature of humanistic research and teaching. This “metaproject” encompasses a broad array of the challenges of digital humanities, and promises to shed new light on the historical dynamics of a city at the crossroads of American life, East Saint Louis. A model for what can be achieved on a national basis, the Cultural Explorer team-including history, history of art, linguistics, literature, and music-focuses on three key interrelated areas: the acquisition and digitization of a diverse corpora of cultural data and artifacts; the representation and storage of this data once it has been acquired; and finally the presentation of this body of work to other scholars and the general public. The data includes handwritten manuscripts and historical documents in a number of languages and dialects, maps, census data, and geographically-located musical recordings and sounds. The organization, storage and retrieval of the data will permit us to discover the cultural and human intersections and interactions at a level of complexity heretofore impossible. Finally, through such technologies as dynamic web sites and interactive three-dimensional worlds, the Cultural Explorer will disseminate the knowledge created, and provide an ideal environment to expose students to a broad array of digital humanities technologies.