Collection Explorer App

Sophie Holland

A prototype iPad app for exploring a collection and making connections between objects, images, and documents.

Visiting BHS is about exploration and discovery, but the vast expanse of materials carefully preserved in opaque archive boxes poses a challenge: how to sift through so much stuff and get the story behind it all. I prototyped an iPad app that allows users to make the story rather than get the story as they scroll through digitized and tagged collections and assemble pieces using drag-and-drop motion. The user can start with a template such as a family tree or timeline or assemble the pieces freeform. Tags supplied by BHS and then built out by users help the user find items based on what they are looking for: a type of media, a political topic, even an emotion. Pieces from various collections can be assembled on one stage. Users can download their story and/or make it accessible to other users.

Screen mock-ups below show search function, tag drop-down menu, slide to browse items, full document view, touch to access item tags, a tree structure for item organization, and flick to zoom out to larger tree view.


Finding Aid Redesign

Aditi Sharma

A multimedia finding aid, including video, sound and maps, for a portion of Cranston Collection.

Visual Finding Aid for the Morrell Collection

Mary Finer

A visual finding aid with a focus on neighborhood mapping for the John D. Morrell Photography Collection.

Williamsburg Property Map in Context

Adam Klein

A Google Earth overlay of the 1845 Williamsburg Property Map, with current property values and images.


Map Collection Sonified Meta Map

Tom Tenney

A data sonification of the number of maps in the BHS map collection, as well as a sonic representation of their average ages, created in Max/MSP.

Kolkin Letter Collection

Jessica Guilfoyle

An interactive analog visualization of the letters of Lucy and Alfred Kolkin.

The Kolkin collection is vast. The bulk of the letters were written between 1944 and 1946 and the couple often wrote to each other more than once a day. I chose to visualize just a handful of Alfred's letters to Lucy written in early 1944 when he was based at the U.S. Naval Training Station in Sampson, NY. I wanted to not only display what I thought were the most provocative aspects of the letters, but to recreate the experience of handling them. For each letter, I pulled out Alfred's greeting, what I thought was the most interesting phrase from the letter, his closing words, as well as the overall emotion that the letter evoked. The heart image is a recreation of a sketch that Alfred created for Lucy in one of his letters that I chose not to visualize. The emotion is displayed on the edge of each heart, while the three other pieces of information are displayed on small pieces of paper attached to the heart by small fasteners that allow the user to actually discover these bits of the letter and then "hide" them again for the next user.

From Baking Tips to Sexy Tricks: Women's Magazines Then and Now

Stephanie Corleto

An analysis of New York Women from 1936 and Cosmopolitan from 2012.