The Stratford-upon-Avon Memory map examines the historical trajectory of how people are expected to engage with sites of memory and memorialization related to William Shakespeare. As Julia Thomas states in her monograph Shakespeare’s Shrine, “the guidebook constructs a community of ‘pilgrims,’ of visitors linked across time and circumstances in their tours of the same buildings, witnessing of the same scenes, and experiencing of the same emotions”. The map, which was created using Leaflet with MapBox tiles, pinpoints the various tourist sites related to Shakespeare in Stratford and the surrounding area. Each pin includes a word cloud visualization (made in Voyant) that demonstrates the most used terms used in 19th century guidebooks to describe each site; however, words such as the town's name, Shakespeare, and the name of the location were removed to make the visualization more clear and focused on description. Each of the guidebooks can be access via the "Guidebooks" tab, which includes a collection of buttons that take you to the Google Books copy of each guidebook. The "Sites" tab includes a table for each location on the map that includes the page numbers of the section of each guidebook's description of that site. Currently, this is a pilot for a larger project. Moving forward, more guidebooks across more time periods will be added, and the visualizations will become more complex.
Katherine I. Knowles is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English at Michigan State University. She received her BA from Hanover College and her MA from the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute. Her research interests include early modern drama, affect theory, and spatial practice.
Led by Dr. Ethan Watrall, the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellows are MSU graduate students developing the skills to creatively and thoughtfully apply digital methods and computational approaches to cultural heritage collections, materials, data, questions, and challenges.