Data is Made Up of Stories: University-wide Futures from the Digital Humanities Digital Face of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Project

Professor Eltis’ presentation will assess the impact of www.slavevoyages since its launch in 2008 on scholarship on slavery in the Atlantic world and more especially on how the site has interacted with the digital humanities revolution. The site is currently undergoing a major re-code and re-development. In the course of this it is embracing animation, and a shift away from its origins as a flat database to fully relational status. The development team is not just adding new data on voyages, African captives, and investors involved in the slave trade, but attempting to keep close to the forefront of new server operating systems, animation techniques, including 3d technology, and the demand for foreign language versions. Evolving features of the site include an interface dedicated to the intra-American slave trade and another offering access to our records of owners of slave voyages. The primary focus of the presentation will be on the challenges and lessons learned. Bio: David Eltis is emeritus Professor of History, Emory University, research associate at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is co-creator of and, and co-author of the Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade which won the 2011 RR Hawkins award of the American Publishers Association for the outstanding scholarly work in all disciplines. He is co-author of “Atlantic History and the Slave Trade to Spanish America,” a recent article in the American Historical Review and is co-editor of the four volume, Cambridge World History of Slavery, volume 3 of which will appear in March, 2017.
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