Project Manager + Product Designer
Cormac Rada, Brandon Smith
In the summer of 2014, three Haverford College students, Cormac Quinn Rada '17, Brandon Smith '16, and Andrew Kafker '17, conducted archival research in the Cope Evans Family Papers for Haverford College’s Special Collections, Digital Scholarship Department. The papers include letters, financial documents, diaries, and shipping information. This project engages with the collection through prose and data visualization.
While the close reading of original texts remains an important part of scholarly research it remains buried behind catalogs and inside institutional archives. New digital techniques can be used to to reach wider, more public audiences, attracting relevant scholars and supporting students in their development as researchers and critical thinkers.
While the ContentDM system used by the library allowed for searching through the digitized items, it did not take full advantage of the available metadata, including geospatial metadata.
The Cope Evan's project is a web-based data visualization project built using Django, the D3 and Mapbox.js, and bootstrap libraries. Explore the family dendrogram, a horizontally-oriented family tree, to see the Copes' and Evanses' familial connections. This family tree encompasses thirteen generations of Quakers dating back to the late sixteenth century with the birth of John Cope. In this tree you can see how prominent Quaker families such as the Copes, Evans, and Drinkers are closely connected by marriage.
Uses geographical data of each writer and recipient of the letter and plots it on a map to show the complete breadth of this extensive network.Explore the Cope Evan's Website
The chart here plots the number of letters on the y-axis, against the year the letters were written on the x-axis. The letters are distributed by subject. Filtering by subject areas like family, lifestyle, love, and travel will reveal the frequency of letters on those subjects between 1800 and 1910.This visualization is an exploratory tool for the collection. Many of the subjects that you can filter by are related to domestic and every day life of the family members.
exploration of the data, presented thematic patterns that directed researchers back to the original materials and the resulting work represented a broader and deeper connection to the materials. One such example is Clementine Cope's scrapbook. She filled it with illustrations from magazines such as Harper’s, photographs, poems, sketches and drawing, newspaper article clippings, and obituaries throughout her life. The illustrations reflect a sense of romanticism and captured scenes of domesticity, a new cosmopolitan life, and spiritual development.
Textual analysis was done to chart the frequency of the use of plain language words “thee” and “thy” within the transcribed Cope Evans letters to see the social transition from traditional to modern, social practices of religion.
Created a shared knowledge base of the user's key responsibilities, pain points, desired outcomes, available data sources, and indicators that drive decision making.
An analysis of current reports and work products, allowed us to map those insights to indicators within key metrics, gather business and data transformation logic, find gaps and inconsistencies, as well as the need and value of integrating multiple data sources.
Co-Creation sessions were held to verify what we heard, co-create initial schemas for solutions, and provide priority into the focus of subsequent sprints. Below are the initial concepts, logical design schemas, and high-fidelity comps.