On the Books: Jim Crow and Algorithms of Resistance

On the Books: Jim Crow and Algorithms of Resistance February 24 3:00-4:00 pm

On the Books: Jim Crow and Algorithms of Resistance (OTB) is a collections as data project that has made North Carolina legal history accessible to researchers by creating a corpus that contains over one hundred years of North Carolina public, private, and local session laws and resolutions. The project has also used text analysis to identify discoverable North Carolina segregation statutes during the Jim Crow era by training an algorithm to identify Jim Crow laws, based on the input of scholars. The team has created an open educational resource, in addition to technical documentation, that introduces humanities scholars and students to the processes involved in gathering and analyzing such a corpus. Recent funding from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation will allow for the expansion of this work in two ways. First, research and teaching fellows will be supported as they use existing OTB products in research and teaching. Second, legal corpora will be created, and Jim Crow language will be identified for two additional states. Research and teaching fellows and partner teams from other states will be identified through calls for proposals. Sub-awards will fund the partners from other states as they use existing OTB workflows to create legal corpora and use machine learning to identify Jim Crow language. This presentation will provide a project overview, outcomes, and lessons learned. Opportunities to get involved with the new phase of the project will also be discussed.

This event is open to the public and is co-sponsored by Randall Library and the Digital Humanities Collaborative of NC.

Date: Thursday, February 24, 2022 | Time: 3:00-4:00 pm | Zoom link: https://uncw.zoom.us/j/84452696028 |

Meeting ID: 844 5269 6028 | Passcode: 102212 | Project website: https://onthebooks.lib.unc.edu/  

Presenter bios:

  • Lorin Bruckner (Data Visualization Services Librarian, UNC Libraries) assists scholars with creating data visualizations to explore and communicate research. She has expertise in data analysis and 10 years of experience in web design and creative direction. Lorin is a member of the OTB project team.
  • Amanda Henley is Head of Digital Research Services at UNC Libraries. She leads a team of data and technology experts in supporting researchers with digital scholarship methods. Amanda is principal investigator of OTB.
  • Hannah Jacobs is a graduate student in the Master’s in Information Science program at UNC Chapel Hill and Digital Humanities Specialist for Duke University’s Digital Art History & Visual Culture Research Lab. Hannah worked as a graduate assistant with the OTB team from November 2020-August 2021 to develop open educational resource modules and drafted language to describe the team’s conception of “algorithms of oppression.”
  • Matt Jansen (Data Analyst, UNC Libraries) has a background in social sciences and statistics. He provides support for researchers and students on data preparation and analysis across a variety of data formats and research goals, including analyses of text corpora. Matt is co-PI of OTB.
  • Brianna Nuñez is the Project Manager for OTB. She provides support for the project team and functions as liaison for grant partners and stakeholders.
Event/Exhibit Information
February 24, 2022 - 3:00pm