Building and Discovering

Building and Discovering

I’m going to start this post by giving the story of yet another fantastic coincidence. Observe the picture below…

 

This is a picture scanned from an admissions slide show slide from the early 80s. I asked for it to be scanned because it had Burling Library in it. What I couldn’t tell from the tiny slide was that there was another story in this slide…

See that guy in the yellow shirt? That’s my dad, Bomi Mistry, Grinnell Class of 1984.

 

 

In any case, onto the usual business.

 

After an extensive and enjoyable spring break, I’ve returned to Grinnell and my work has continued. (Spring Break had some wonderful adventures- including turning 22 years old and finding a fantastic apartment!)

My MAP project has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced, yet has simultaneously been incredibly rewarding. I’ve had to solve tough challenges, but it’s been giving me hope that none of the challenges yet has proven insurmountable. It’s been a blast to get to delve into the archives and uncover beautiful treasures from the past.

I’m also excited to see how the app itself is received. To me, it’s a different way of presenting history- with huge potential for changing the size of an audience. If I had written a paper, or even made a small exhibit covering the same material, it may be read or examined by those who are interested in the topic, but would likely end up buried in an archive. With this app, the history is placed directly in one’s hands, whether on a tablet, or a smartphone, or even a computer. Because of that, anyone can look at it or find it. It’s also easier to navigate an app than to read a paper, which lowers yet another barrier to entry. As app creation becomes simpler, I’m willing to bet we’ll see it expand into academia as a common product of research. It makes interacting with the data so much easier. Here’s hoping to the continued growth of the digital humanities.

This week, I’ll be giving a short presentation on my work over the past year as part of Grinnell College’s Humanities Symposium. (I’ll post my slides after the talk!) I’ll be sharing the session with other students taking unique approaches to humanities projects. It should be a great experience.

As a special treat, here are a few of my other favorite images I’ve pulled from the archives for this project.

A swim meet in the original Grinnell College Pool. Four lanes wide and 20 yards long, it’s far cry today’s massive olympic-sized beautiful pool.

 

A postcard showing Blair Hall, my favorite building from the past. It was sadly demolished in the 1960s
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