ACRL WESS/MAGERT Conference Program:
Mapping the Future of Historical Scholarship about Europe


You are invited to attend this innovative conference program, presented by WESS and co-sponsored by ALA’s Map and Geography Round Table.  It will be held during the upcoming ALA conference in Atlanta, on Monday, June 17, 2002, 10:30 AM-12 noon, in the Georgia World Congress Center, Room B305.

This program is designed for everyone interested in:

Those intrigued by maps, geography, and European history all should find it appealing!

The program will focus on exploring and supporting new directions in historical research on Europe based on geographic information, including some outstanding interdisciplinary digital projects in mapping and related data creation, conversion, and analysis.  The panel’s featured speakers will be U.S. map librarian and GIS specialist Karl Longstreth and British historical geographer and fellow GIS expert Humphrey Southall, with Richard Hacken moderating (see biographies below).  The presentations will incorporate online demonstrations of selected projects and software.  Ample time for discussion is planned.

Karl Longstreth is the Map Librarian at the University Library, University of Michigan, and Director of the China Data Center in the University’s International Institute.  His presentation, “The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI) and European Historical Scholarship,” will concentrate on the international collaborative ECAI and the use of GIS in humanities research, focusing on historical research on Europe, interdisciplinary approaches, and a greater interest in space and place.

Humphrey Southall, Reader in Geography at the University of Portsmouth, England, is Director of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project.  His presentation, “Redefining the National Memory:   The Great Britain Historical GIS Project,” will outline the development of this massive resource for research on the economic, social, and cultural historical geography of Great Britain, including its conversion into an online resource for a wide range of users.

Richard Hacken, European Studies Bibliographer at the Brigham Young University library and an active WESS member, will moderate the panel.

For more on the speakers and their topics, please see the “Additional Information” section following this message.

Please join us for the enlightening, visually rewarding, and stimulating presentations by this international panel and participate in the discussion to follow.  You will learn more about how electronic geographical resources are contributing to exciting new developments in research on European history!


Presented with the generous support of Jean Touzot, libraire-éditeur.


Additional Information on WESS Program

Karl Longstreth and the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI)

Karl Longstreth is the Map Librarian at the University Library, University of Michigan, as well as the Director of the China Data Center in the University’s International Institute, where he is active in the development of spatial approaches for interdisciplinary scholarship.  An active MAGERT member, his areas of interest include cartography, ecology, environmental studies, and urbanization.  He was one of the early members of ECAI, an international, interdisciplinary initiative that promotes the use of applications such as GIS to analyze and present quantitative and qualitative data such as maps, images, and texts; it is comprised of hundreds of networked digital projects B including many dealing with Europe B created by libraries, museums, archives, and scholars.  With a focus in the humanities, ECAI encourages the development of and access to integrated and complex datasets for historical study.

The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative and European Historical Scholarship”:  Longstreth’s presentation will focus on ECAI and the use of GIS in humanities research, particularly historical research, on Europe.  He will consider several interconnected areas, among them new technologies, interdisciplinary approaches, cultural studies, and a greater interest in space and place.  Longstreth will show several ECAI-related projects and TimeMap software as examples.

Humphrey Southall
and the Great Britain Historical GIS Project

Humphrey Southall, Reader in Geography at the University of Portsmouth, England, is Director of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project.  This project began as a spatial framework for systematic data -- including census and vital registration data -- that he was assembling to support research on the economic, social, and cultural historical geography of Great Britain.  It constitutes a record of the changing boundaries of Britain's administrative units since the mid-19th century; among its components are a historical database, atlas, and gazetteer.  While his own areas of interest and publication include the origins of Britain’s north-south divide, the geography of 19th-century British political life, and labor history, the project provides a wealth of material for a wide range of research on Britain of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Redefining the National Memory:  The Great Britain Historical GIS Project”:  Southall’s presentation will outline the history of the development of this project.  Its participants compile data and aim to make it available online to progressively wider audiences, most recently not only to historians and other academic researchers, but also to life-long learners of all ages seeking information on local and national history.  He will demonstrate aspects of the project and discuss the planning and technical challenges involved in converting a monolithic ArcInfo/Oracle system into a useful and usable online resource available to large numbers of people with varying levels of experience.

Richard Hacken

Moderating this distinctive program will be long-time WESS member Richard Hacken, European Studies Bibliographer at the Brigham Young University library.  His Web projects include EuroDocs, an online megasite for primary historical documents from and about Western Europe.  Providing a vital cartographic boost to his Web pages for Germany, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, in particular, are links to relevant online tools of ECAI and the Great Britain Historical GIS Project.


Last reviewed:  30 May 2002