“Southern Trails” is a digital portal for Georgia Tech students to present work that explores early American history through the lens of digital technologies. Our goal is to create learning spaces for students to explore the history of the South, while using new software to collect, read, map, visualize, describe, and analyze historical records.
The United States, the South, and Georgia have a rich, if troubled, early history. Georgians participated and experienced European settlement, the Institution of Slavery, and the forced removal of Indigenous peoples; indeed, Georgia and Georgia Tech stand on former Creek and Cherokee lands. Georgians also helped develop novel forms of government as they participated in the creation of new states during the Colonial, Revolutionary, Republican, Civil War and Reconstruction Periods. This portal provides a space for students to examine this rich and complicated history with digital technologies that provide new pathways to reframe the past.
For our first inaugural project in Fall 2021 students explored American Revolutions using StoryMaps, analyzing four distinct primary sources. In addition, the “Southern Trails” team created a portal map to search for projects by place and added previous exhibits about women during the American Revolution and Atlanta City History.
In Spring 2022 we will continue to work with digital mapping and create a podcast to coincide with an exhibit about Oakland Cemetery’s early history.