The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL) a three-year, $750,000 grant to begin developing a digital atlas of American history.  

Building on past DSL projects, such as “Visualizing Emancipation,” “Voting America” and “Redlining Richmond,” the new atlas will use the power of animated, data-rich maps to help students, scholars and adult learners literally see change over time, enabling them to make discoveries, reach conclusions and gain insights into the complex past of the United States.   

“Innovations in digital mapping and a deepened interest in space among historians and other humanities scholars have made this an ideal moment to produce an interactive atlas of the United States,” said Robert K. Nelson, DSL director.

Richmond President Edward L. Ayers said, "We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their investment in a digital atlas that will build on the best traditions of the genre while transcending the limitations imposed by print." 

The DSL will complete two volumes of the atlas — the first on migration, communication and transportation, and the second on the environment — as well as an enhanced online edition of Charles O. Paullin’s 1932 “Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States”.  

Future volumes will focus on themes such as race and ethnicity, economy, religion, gender, reform, politics, governance, and law, war and foreign relations. The atlas will be edited by Ayers, Nelson and DSL Associate Director Scott Nesbit.

# # #