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Past Projects

Summer 2019 Projects

Neighborhood: A State of Mind – The East Baltimore Documentary Photography Project

The interdisciplinary team of researchers will examine the UMBC’s Special Collections’ vast holdings of photography, focusing specifically on photographic prints and archival material related to the East Baltimore Documentary Photography Project. From 1975 to 1976, photographers Linda Rich, Elinor B. Cahn, and Joan Clark Netherwood documented everyday life in East Baltimore, producing a vivid portrait of a community through photographs and oral histories. Their work resulted in a publication, Neighborhood: A State of Mind (1981.) Researchers on this project will explore various themes including identity, community, and urban transformation. Based on this research, the team will produce a website, housed on the Special Collections’ homepage, presenting an online exhibition of selected works from the collection, along with four to six original short research essays.

Project-specific interests and skills

Student members of the interdisciplinary team should share the following traits: intellectual curiosity, strong written and oral communication skills, leadership ability, and solid research skills. At least one of the students should have website design knowledge, and familiarity with ArcGIS or other interactive mapping software that could add an additional dimension to the project webpage. Students will be trained to use Omeka, which is an online platform for library special collections, or a similar online exhibit platform.


Baltimore, the Second Ellis Island: Making Baltimore’s Nineteenth to early Twentieth Century Immigration History Come Alive

The interdisciplinary team of researchers will work closely with the Baltimore Immigration Museum to develop educational materials to help promote the Museum’s mission of sharing Baltimore’s immigration history. Through archival research and interviews, the team will develop a video on the general history/documentation of Baltimore’s immigration history during the “Great Wave of Immigration” from 1830 to 1914, which brought over 1.2 million European immigrants to Baltimore. The team will also update the Museum’s website and create a promotional brochure on the Museum.

Project-specific interests and skills

An interest in the history of immigration into the U.S. and Baltimore’s role in it and strong reading and writing skills are required of each team member. Some experience in archival or other research skills, museum education, interviewing techniques, and/or media production, desktop publishing, and website creation skills are preferable


Stories on a Sphere: Climate change in the marine ecosystem of the Arctic

The interdisciplinary team will examine earth science research about the impacts of climate change on the marine ecosystem across the Arctic and produce a digital story about these impacts designed for spherical screen platforms. Students will dive deeply into expedition video and multimedia, scientific publications, GIS, and remote sensing data to select and assemble spherical maps, video, and animations for the presentation. Based on their experiences, the team will also produce a how-to document to help earth science researchers learn to bring their research onto these innovative storytelling formats. Participants will practice their pilot presentation at the Goddard NASA Visitor Center at the end of the summer session.

Project-specific interests and skills

We are looking for students who are fascinated with the earth sciences, have a creative side, and are interested in creating stories to inform middle school and high school students about climate change. Apply if you enjoy audio-video projects, like to write, and have skills and experience with either digital story-telling, GIS, Magic Planet, script writing, graphic arts and animation, or coding.