The digital project I would like to create will be an interactive map using an existing map of Shenandoah National Park titled “Map of Stony Man Region in the Shenandoah National Park” drawn by Tom Culverwell from the year 1935. The main content of this digital project would include a digitized version of this “Map of Stony Man Region in the Shenandoah National Park” as well as images that provide context about different aspects of the drawn map, from primarily from the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress). This interactive digital map is a vehicle that seeks to tell the story of the displaced mountain families that resided in the Blue Ridge Region that eventually became Shenandoah National Park. The “Map of Stony Man Region in the Shenandoah National Park” from 1935 is not a geologically accurate map and more so a visualization of a social commentary on how 1930s America viewed the people the families living in the hollows of the Shenandoah Valley. There are various elements on this map and to narrow the project to be able to complete this in a timely fashion, I will focus primarily on the depictions of the ‘mountain people’ while also providing some further context about some of the key landmarks noted in the map. The main historical question with this project then would be, why were the mountain people depicted in this way on this drawn map of Shenandoah National Park from the year 1935?
The digital technologies in use for this project is to use a high resolution camera to create a digitized version of the “Map of Stony Man Region in the Shenandoah National Park” as well as the use of Photoshop or another photo editing software to be able to zoom in on the high resolution image. The other digital technology elements needed is the Omeka Classic software to use as the platform for hosting the digital project. This software allows a user to create collections where I can place other historic images and information that will provide context to the digital map. Omeka Classic also allows for a user to zoom in on a specific location and insert a text box that will link out to these other images that provide context all while exploring and hovering over elements on the digital map.
The target audiences for this digital project would be those who are interested in the history of National Parks as well as teachers/students studying the US history during the 1930s. This group of people interested in the history of National Parks would be interested in engaging with my digital project because it gives this group an opportunity to have a detailed look at a well known National Park from the mid 1930s, this project combines history and the subject of National Parks. While the teacher/student target audience would be interested in engaging with this digital project as this is a free resource to use in the classroom to get a up close look at a map from the 1930s in Virginia, this would help teachers and students get an idea of the mindset of those who made this map and how different aspects of this area were viewed during this time in American history. The goal of this digital project would be for those interested in the history of Shenandoah National Park and its establishment to have a way to digitally interact with this map and be able to get a closer look at the elements that are on this map. This map will show the perspectives at the time about the park overall and specifically about the ‘mountain people’ while containing references to culture during the 1930s. A user of this digital project would be able to explore these elements and be able to understand the context of these depictions on the map. This project will have this map digitized and accessible in a digital space for these target audiences.