We have learned how to use a variety of different mapping tools. For the purpose of our Digital History final projects, these are going to be very useful visuals for our final projects. Below, I discuss the mapping tools we have learned how to use and give my unfettered opinion of them.

Google/Google Earth with MapWarper is my favorite of all the map tools we used. I have a bit of a learning curve to get over understanding creating and importing an API key. In regard to the data points Dr. Beasley gave us to import on 1894-1896 UK Global Fat Supply, I found it very interesting how data could be organized in a variety of ways in the Google Map tools. I found it very interesting that data points could be organized by commodity origin as it made it very easy to see patterns in the data. Another way the data could be organized was in the form of a chronological timeline. This was based on the order the data was entered into the Excel file we uploaded. This was great for a basic chronological overview, but since there isn’t a way include more than a brief description, this would need to be a supplement to a script about a chronological history versus a stand-alone timeline. The final organizational tool in Google Maps is done by categorization by column. I also liked this approach because it easily shows where each commodity is harvested from.

This is one of two contenders for the map I will use in my final project. I do think it will be really useful for my project as MapWarper allows you to overlay a historical map with modern day mapping. This will prove useful for my map since I want to include a map of historical landmarks as well as points where Victoria Woodhull made history.

Google Maps draft for my project on Victoria Woodhull featuring two historical American data points.
Google Earth draft for my project on Victoria Woodhull featuring one historical American data point.
Google Earth with KML files from Google Maps on Victoria Woodhull included
MapWarper map rectified over Washington, DC.
Map Warper map KML file rectified over Google Earth

StoryMapJS another service of Knightlab. Since it is related to TimelineJS, the end result very much resembled our timelines. This is unique mapping tool because it allows you to include a detailed description of your data points along with captions for images and a place for citations. I liked that you could import your own image along with each data point on the map. It was simple to search for locations or copy your own latitude and longitude points. You have the ability to alter the colors and image for your data points which is great since it makes the map much more aesthetically pleasing. This would be a great resource for someone completing a project based on the chronological history of an event as it flows nicely between map points like a traditional timeline. I am considering using this for my final project since I do have a number of chronological data points across the United States and England.

CartoDB is very visually appealing mapping tool. I really enjoyed the customization of the map with colors, shapes and displays of the data. I appreciated how many customization features were free to use and the user-friendly set up of the website. As someone who is not very technologically savvy but interested in mapping, I enjoyed straightforwardness of this tool.

The different shapes to display the data points was particularly interesting to me, despite not really being relevant to my project. If I was doing a project that included more statistics, this would be a very valuable resource as I think heat maps are a great tool to display higher or lower frequencies of events. This, and the great deal of customization offered down to the color of your data points made CartoDB one of the most compelling map choices for me- unfortunately it isn’t relevant to my project, so I will bookmark it for future projects!

A heat map of the Amsterdam. Data set provided by Dr. Beasley.

Text Mining (Voyant)

Here is the link to my Voyant:,reader,trends,summary,contexts

And here is a screenshot of some cool features I liked when my Voyant first popped up:

I decided when adding my text to a document to delete the source’s cover page, table of contents, references, and some details about the website that weren’t necessary in regard to the text I needed for Voyant. Otherwise, the source I found was very straightforward so I decided to leave most everything else.

The Voyant tools I liked the most were Bubbles, Cirrus and DreamScape. I liked Bubbles because it really helped me to visualize the most common words/topics about Victoria Woodhull. I really liked Cirrus because it was very eye-catching and conveyed the main parts of Victoria Woodhull across very nicely. This is one I definitely want to incorporate into my project. DreamScape was an interesting feature because it mapped out location related to my text which I hadn’t really thought about highlighting. I liked this because it outlines her life- despite not being totally all-inclusive.

I liked Voyant for the interactive and eye-catching aspects, but it didn’t really change my understanding of the text overall- I understood Victoria Woodhull and main details about her as well or maybe a little better from my own reading and research than if I had just plugged it into Voyant.

Text mining could be really helpful for looking for a specific trend in an article or form of text. For my specific article I plugged in, it was helpful but didn’t illuminate anything new for me since I already had knowledge. I think text mining could be really useful for new documents, maybe even heavy scholarly readings if I can isolate the noise around the main text to get an understanding of a big text. I think using a tool like Voyant will be helpful for basics of finding key terms and repetitions as a first-stop on a research journey.

Timeline Blog Post

I really liked creating a timeline as a portion of our project. I think that this program’s layout for the timeline is super easy to follow and more user friendly than the timeline I was imagining for my project.

I really liked the easy to follow template on Google Sheets, and found it very straightforward to insert my information, photos, etc. This was a relief since some of the new programs we have learned have been outside of my comfort zone whereas Google Sheets is very simple for me!

The hardest part was looking back at my sources to find the right dates, especially specific dates. I wanted the dates to chronicle Victoria Woodhull’s most notable moments, so finding relevant dates instead of a range was a little difficult. I did eventually find some notable dates, but definitely have more work to due to find all the dates I want to properly outline her political life.

I really think once my timeline is complete that this with be a huge asset to my project. It will make her political life easy to follow and interactive with the photos.

Building My Omeka Exhibit:

Building my Omeka Exhibit was a labor of love.

I enjoyed creating my exhibit in Omeka as it really helped me to outline the direction for my project.

While I found the overall structure of Omeka to be relatively user-friendly, filling out the information for Dublin Core for each item felt tedious. I can appreciate the simplicity and the purpose for Dublin Core, but still I felt there was a simpler way of putting citations we already have into this program.

I really like the layout of Omeka and how we can easily add content, collections, and pages to the exhibit. When I have the motivation, I want to investigate changing the theme to one that requires help from the professor (hello!), but for now, the themes provided are simple to follow and work for what I need in the draft-stage.

The concept of a Simple Page is still a bit lost on me. I understand the gist, but actually implementing it is something I admittedly need to take more time to figure out.

Overall, I really enjoy Omeka as a platform for our final project. It is a great place to put items I have for my project in a clean, easy to organize and find place. I think it served me very well as I finally was able to figure out a direction for telling the story of Victoria Woodhull while still having the focus be her Presidential candidacy.

Below, find the hyperlink to my Omeka exhibit (in draft form):

Click Me:

Brainstorming My Omega Exhibit

I think the creation of our Omeka websites will be really beneficial to our projects overall.

For my project about Victoria Woodhull, items are beginning to seem more and more vital to the overall vision I have for my project. I think my Omeka exhibit could serve as a great exploration of Mrs. Woodhull’s political life.

I have some ideas of utilizing the collections for images to separate different images into related groups like

-Early Political Life

-Greatest Achievements

-Presidential Candidacy

Just as a couple examples. I think this could serve as a great interactive guide to my project’s topic, rather than just listing out information about Mrs. Woodhull.

I got the idea of an interactive gallery from some of the other websites we have looked at through class. I’d love to use Omeka to create a project that is similar to the City of Boston Omeka site but with more images to make the project more eye-catching.

Overall, once I can get past the learning curve for using Omeka, I think it will make my project very interactive and eye-catching!

The Transcription Process

My experience with the transcription process was … fine. I didn’t find it easy, but it wasn’t impossible.

Both my documents came from the Freedman’s Bureau collection on North Carolina Field Offices, Subordinate Field Offices: Rocky Mount, Letters Received, Dec. 1865–Aug. 1868, Part 2. The first document I transcribed made a lot of sense to me. I could read most of the words – or could I infer what the author was saying if I couldn’t quite read a word at first.

The second document I transcribed was a little more frustrating as I understood some key words, but there were a fair number of other words I really couldn’t pick up on due to the author’s handwriting style.

After completing two letters myself and passing over a number of other documents I found too hard to transcribe, I would imagine it would take years for crowdsourced transcription projects to be completed.

Project Proposal

For my HIST390- Digital History project, I am proposing the following topic:

Research Question-

What Am I Studying: I will be studying the life and legacy of Victoria Woodhull, a woman of great significance to Women’s Rights today.

Why: I have decided to focus on Victoria Woodhull’s legacy as the first female to run for the office of President of the United States in 1872.

What Do I Hope to Understand: I hope to shed light on how Mrs. Woodhull served as a catalyst for Women’s Rights, the role of women in political office, and women as authority figures. By providing a timeline of Mrs. Woodhull’s significant political life events leading up to her Presidential run in 1872, I hope to better understand what it takes to create an exuberant, knowledgable, and qualified female candidate for the highest political office in the United States.

Thesis- Victoria Woodhull was the first female candidate for the President of the United States in 1872. Her achievements, although often overlooked, elevated the role of women in politics and serve as a a model for what it really takes to purse the highest political office in the United States.

Main Primary Sources-

Zotero Link

  1. publication by Victoria Woodhull herself called “The Origin, Tendencies and Principles of Government”. It was published in her weekly reader the same year she ran for office, 1872. 
  2. book written by Theodore Tilton that provides a “biographical sketch” of Victoria Woodhull in Number 3 of The Golden Age Tracts. It was published in 1871 and discusses Victoria Woodhull’s battle to become a candidate for the presidency. 
  3. newspaper article in The Advocate and news, a paper from Topeka Kansas from 1897 that discusses the recent life of Victoria Woodhull. 
  4. clipping of “Mrs. Woodhull asserting her right to vote” from 1870-1875. 
  5. An illustration from an illustrated newspaper that depicts “a lady delegate reading her argument in favor of woman’s voting”, the woman is known to be Victoria Woodhull. It is dated 1870.

My Best Secondary Source-

Zotero Link

  1. review by Mary A. Yeager of Ellen Fitzpatricks book “The Highest Glass Ceilings: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency”. 
  2. book by Teri Finneman called “Press Portrayals of Women Politicians, 1870s–2000s : From “Lunatic” Woodhull to “Polarizing” Palin”. 
  3. book by Lois Beachy Underhill called “The Woman Who Ran for President : the Many Lives of Victoria Woodhull“.

Source Citations:

Primary Sources:

The Advocate and news. [volume] (Topeka, Kan.), 15 Dec. 1897. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. 

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Mrs. Woodhull asserting her right to vote” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1870 – 1875. 

Tilton, Theodore. The Golden age tracts. New York, The Golden Age, 1871. Pdf. Lib. of Congress

Washington, D.C. The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives receiving a deputation of female suffragists, January 11th – a lady delegate reading her argument in favor of woman’s voting, on the basis of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Constitutional Amendments. United States, 1871. Photograph. 

Woodhull, Victoria. “The Origin, Tendencies and Principles of Government.” Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly 4, no. 8 (1872).

Secondary Sources:

Finneman , Teri. 2015. Press Portrayals of Women Politicians, 1870s–2000s : From “Lunatic” Woodhull to “Polarizing” Palin. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Accessed March 1, 2021. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Underhill, Lois Beachy. The Woman Who Ran for President : the Many Lives of Victoria Woodhull 1st ed. Bridgehampton, N.Y: Bridge Works Pub., 1995.

Yeager, Mary A. 2017. “Ellen Fitzpatrick, The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency.” Business History Review 91 (4). Cambridge University Press: 809–13. doi:10.1017/S0007680517001349.