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Archive | January, 2015

Data Project: Map illustrates roots of racism 1915-40

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Map of Klan projectJohn Kneebone, who chairs VCU’s Department of History, partnered with VCU Libraries to create “Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940.” This resource combines mapping, animation, information about primary sources, and an accompanying essay discussing the project. All of these aspects work together to present the story of the spread of the Klan across the entirety of the United States after 1915, along with context in which that spread happened. This project presents original research on an important topic in U.S. history in a format that shows dynamically the nature of the processes at work in the underlying story. It was designed to educate users, facilitate research and scholarship, and be useful in the classroom.

Researchers studying history, homeland security, domestic terrorism, and cultural, ethnic, or American studies might want to examine the source material underlying “Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940.” The data underlying the project is available in CSV and SQL formats for download, and is licensed under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). The data can be manipulated using a range of methods, from SQL queries to software designed to support data analysis.

Classroom projects incorporating “Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940” could take many forms in different fields. A set of introductory questions posted in the “Learn More” section of the resource may serve as a useful jumping-off point for creating assignments. The animation and data can be studied in a classroom setting or by individual students, whether studying 20th century homeland security or the history of hate crimes and prejudicial violence.

If “Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940” inspires you to research Klan activity in your area, or if you have additional sources or information to share, or if you have questions about the project, contact: librarylabs@vcu.edu.

News article on the project

The VCU News story about this project was one of the top 10 most-read articles for 2015.

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By John Glover, humanities research librarian