PRC Enlists Japanese Digital Mapping Experts to Teach Archival Process

July 18, 2017

Digital Exhibits Offer Potential for Exponential Outreach

The Peace Resource Center at Wilmington College took a giant step this week in expanding the scope of its peace and social justice mission via online digital exhibits that will literally make incredible stories of the peace and antinuclear movements come alive on the Internet.

(PICTURED) Tokyo Metropolitan University Ph.D. Student Kenya Tamura shares insight into creating digital archives with Deanna Ulvestad, head archivist with Green County Public Library.

Two scholars from Tokyo Metropolitan University (TMU) presented a two-day workshop (July 17 and 18) teaching the intricacies of digital mapping to Dr. Tanya Maus, PRC director, and several of her students.

Also, the PRC invited archivists from area libraries and municipal records offices to learn from Kenya Tamura and Hiroki Inoue, Ph.D. students in Tokyo. Some of the entities represented were Antioch College, Greene County Public Library, Greene County Records and Archives and Licking County Records.

The workshop was made possible from a $15,000 Ohio Humanities Council media grant.

After two days of what Maus described as “navigating the learning curve and gaining comfort with the system,” on Wednesday (July 19), Tamura, Inoue and the Wilmington College group will work on a specific project, creating a digital exhibit featuring Barbara Reynolds’ World Peace Study Mission in 1964. Reynolds founded the PRC in 1975.

“Digital humanities — this a new way for making our archives more accessible and relevant for expanded audiences beyond the physical Peace Resource Center,” said Maus, who became especially intrigued with the concept after viewing a presentation on the integration of digital mapping and humanities content by a visiting TMU professor when she was at a Harvard University conference last year.

That professor was interested in the PRC’s extensive materials on the atomic bombings of Japan, which initiated the collaboration between the Tokyo school and the College.

Maus added that, using the open source digital mapping platform known as Cesium js, the exhibit will feature “dazzling three-dimensional renderings, floating portraits, historical photographs, video stills, audio clips and much more in telling the story of the World Peace Study Mission — and, especially, those Ohioans who participated in it.”

In 1964, Reynolds organized 27 survivors of the atomic bombing and 14 translators to travel with her to the United States, France, United Kingdom and USSR — then the world’s handful of nuclear powers. The delegation met with Pres. Harry Truman while in the U.S.

“Barbara’s compelling story of political and civic engagement can now be part of a very large educational outreach,” Maus added, noting she wishes to make the exhibit available in schools so those lessons about nuclear warfare shared by the bombing survivors will not be forgotten.