American Experience’s Abolitionist Map of America


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Producers of the PBS series American Experience have announced the launch of The Abolitionist Map of America, an interactive website that explores events, characters and locations connected to the anti-slavery movement, one of the most important civil rights crusade in American history.

The map engages communities around their local history, connecting the stories told in The Abolitionists, premiering Tuesdays, January 8-22, 2013 on PBS, to real geographic locations, bringing events from the past to life and integrating them into present-day American cities.

American Experience is working with hundreds of museums, libraries, archives and public television stations to populate the map with geo-tagged historical photos and documents, as well as more than 30 video clips from The Abolitionists. The public is invited to upload their own content with the goal of creating a map that reflects the shared history of the movement and its indelible mark on local communities and the nation.

Developed with innovative technology from public media history platform Historypin, The Abolitionist Map of America allows users to superimpose an archival image of a specific location over the present-day street view of that same location, showing how a significant place has changed over time. Walking tours of Boston, Charleston, Cincinnati and Philadelphia can be experienced by users virtually on the Web or spontaneously as they walk through the city. The Abolitionist Map of America will be available as an iPhone app in December 2012.

You can view The Abolitionist Map of America here.

Institutional partners already collaborating on the Map include the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture (Charleston, SC), Boston Public Library, Cincinnati Public Library, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Library Company in Philadelphia Program in African American History, Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives and Records Administration, National Museum of African American History and Culture, the New Bedford Historical Society, and the University of Rochester Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

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