Final Project and Course Reflections

In setting out to create this digital resource, I wanted to create a map that could expand the material on the internet about American Indian boarding schools. From my own research, the materials mostly consist of digitized primary sources, a limited amount of monographs and academic articles, scattered news articles, and other materials here or there. I came up with the idea to do this last semester while researching boarding schools for research seminar, and it has been exciting to see this come to fruition. There are still many additions I will add to this project, however, as I come to find more and more out about American Indian boarding schools. My hope is to continue to grow this project — as it is more than a simple class project — it is a topic I’m extremely passionate about.

To me, this map helps the history of American Indian boarding schools to become more accessible to not only those who are interested already, but also to others who stumble upon them. This thought was driven home during our conversations in class this last week on opening and expanding scholarly conversations. It is important to create digital resources that not only give historical context to the materials, but also to create digital resources that are accessible themselves. Many people are not familiar with searching an online archive, but would still want to be engaged with history and I believe that this map is a doorway for that.

Project poster:

In this course, it has really opened my eyes to all of the different digital resources at our fingertips. Digital history is an expansive field and is ever-changing. In my professional position, I work with digital content, but this class has helped me deep dive into understanding it and thinking deeper about it — especially from the perspective of the audience rather than just from my own. I think this course has really taught me how to be a better public historian — and has given me a lot of tools to better myself and my practice.

5 Replies to “Final Project and Course Reflections”

  1. Hi Ellie! Thanks for sharing your project with everyone. I think your project is a wonderful example of how visually seeing information can change a users response to just reading about it. I knew that these boarding schools existed but seeing your map and visually observing just how many there were throughout the United States really made the information stay with me and impacted me differently. Thank you for raising awareness about these schools through the use of this visual platform.

  2. Hi Ellie! I think your project is visually stunning and very engaging. Using your story map as a resource is something I didn’t take into consideration with my project but now I wish I did. They way you connect each of these schools with each other and the research you conducted is done very well. Thank you for providing a platform to engage with Indigenous history in this way.

  3. Hi Ellie! I really love your project and I can tell from your post how passionate you are about it! It’s really cool to see people excited about continuing their projects going forward. I think your project is unique because, like Rosie and Josh mentioned, you combine visualization with opportunities for further engagement with your topic. It also provides a really comprehensive list of resources to help others understand this topic as well. Really great project!

  4. Ellie, I think this project was a great choice in terms of the subject matter. I think the map you created is brilliant and looks very nice. I also think the way you connected the schools with each other is unique. I also think the reference list is rich with information.

  5. Ellie, I really enjoyed looking at your project. It touches on a dark, but nonetheless important, part of American history, that often gets left out of the picture. I already knew about Carlisle Industrial School from a Native American History class that I took in undergrad, but I was shocked to see just how many of these boarding schools there were, especially in Oklahoma. The scarcity of boarding schools on the Eastern Seaboard is indicative of what happened to the native people who lived there.

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