Our digital history projects include faculty and student research, class projects, and archival or documentary collections.

Some of these projects are hosted at the University of Iowa; some are hosted elsewhere. 

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The African American Midwest

Ashley Howard

The Midwest African American experience is one of the most extraordinary yet overlooked parts of American history—from the Midwest Underground Railroad to the Great Migration and Black Renaissance, from Ida B. Wells to Emmett Till to Fred Hampton to Barack Obama, from Ferguson to Flint to Minneapolis. For African Americans, the region has been both a “Promised Land” and a “Heartland of Betrayal.” Guided by leading Midwest African American scholars, African Americans & the Midwest will tell that history in four ways: website: blackmidwest.org, Documentary/ Film Docu-Series, WTTW/PBS Chicago,  Digital “Classroom Pods”, and a Documentary Podcast.

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Women of Ancient History

Sarah E. Bond

The rise of the “manel” (= all male panel) is prevalent within the field of ancient history. In order to combat this, Women of Ancient History was founded so that a database of women in the field could be compiled and subsequently kept updated through the years. This database has no one author, but is rather a product of over 50+ women and men who took the time to contribute. We hope that you use it to reach out to a female ancient historian in order: to write a review, to be on a panel, to write an article, or just to read her work. 

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The Chacra Collective

Mariola Espinosa, 2021

The Chacra Collective is a group of scholar-teachers who share their expertise and research on Latin America, the Caribbean, the Atlantic World, and the hemisphere in online/ digital formats specifically for use in university courses taught by other Collective members. The ethos of the community is a commitment to the educational depth, richness, and inspiration generated when students are exposed to real, live scholars and the new knowledge they actively produce about the past and the hemisphere’s cultures. Professor Mariola Espinosa is a member of the Chacra Collective.

Mapping Segregation in Iowa map example

Mapping Segregation in Iowa City

This site traces the use of race restrictive deed covenants in Iowa City and Johnson County in the first half of the twentieth century, highlighting the importance and impact of these racial restrictions, their legal history, and their use in other settings. Explore a map of all the restricted parcels and subdivisions with documentation of the original restrictions and learn more about the historical background of segregation in the area. The research for this project was completed in Spring 2020 by undergraduate researchers working under the direction of Professor Colin Gordon and with the help of the Johnson County Recorders Office and County Recorder Kim Painter.

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Citizen Brown; Race, Inequality and Democracy in the St. Louis Suburbs

Colin Gordon

Citizen Brown; Race, Inequality and Democracy in the St. Louis Suburbs is a web supplement to the book of the same name (Chicago, 2019). It features images, resources, and interactive story maps.

oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico

Shell Oil's Deepwater Mission to Mars

Tyler Priest

This project is devoted to documenting and narrating the story of Shell’s pioneering development of the Mars field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (3,000 feet of water), as well as associated fields the greater Mars-Ursa basin, historically the largest single source of crude oil in the Gulf. The narratives, photos, videos, and other resources gathered here offer insight into the decisions and dramas that made the Mars-Ursa complex one of the most vital American energy assets. This project also provides a forum for “Martians” and other participants to contribute recollections, images, or artifacts, which will help to preserve the living history and memory of Shell’s Deepwater Mission to Mars.

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Iowa Oral Labor History Project

SHSI, Labor Center, John McKerley

Iowa Oral Labor History Project (ILHOP) is an innovative statewide initiative to document Iowa’s rich labor and working class history through the collection and preservation of oral histories.

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The New Fascism Syllabus

Lisa Heineman

The New Fascism Syllabus is a crowd-sourced collection of writings on the history of fascist, populist, and authoritarian movements and governments during the 20th and 21st centuries.

German Iowa and the Global Midwest cover

German Iowa and the Global Midwest

DSPS; Glenn Penny, Lisa Heineman, Glen Ehrstine, various undergraduate classes

​German Iowa and the Global Midwest is an online archive that brings together source material on German immigration to Iowa from many local collections.

Growing Apart cover

​Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality

Institute for Policy Studies; Colin Gordo

​Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality combines historical and economic analysis with interactive graphics to trace the causes--and consequences--of economic inequality in the United States.

Mapping Decline map sample

​Mapping Decline

DSPS, Colin Gordon

Mapping Decline is a web supplement to Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (PennPress, 2008). It allows users to display or download most of the geospatial data developed for the book. A companion site hosted by the University of Iowa Libraries offers an overview of the books’ main argument.

Exterior of UI Art Building during 2008 flood

The 2008 Flood

History Corps

This site, created by a UI Graduate Seminar in Public History (Spring 2013), chronicles the impact and implication of the devasting 2008 floods in eastern Iowa.

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New Books Network

Amherst College Press, Lisa Heineman

New Books Network is a consortium of author-interview podcast channels dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing serious authors to a wide public via new media. Lisa Heineman is a host for the New Books in Gender Studies section.