Digital Maine brings together computer science, information, and geospatial technology experts from USM and southern Maine companies with faculty and students in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, whose research, scholarship, and creative activity focus on Maine history, art, and culture. The project collects, analyzes, and disseminates data and information about Maine’s geographically diverse communities, culture, socioeconomic conditions, and history; with particular focus on studying how places evolve over time and shape regional identity and culture.

PI: John Muthyala
Co-PI: Jan Piribeck
Co-PI: Matthew Bampton

Project title: Portland Women’s History Trail
Project leader: Professor Eileen Eagan (emerita), Department of History

Eileen EaganThis project creates an online and revised version of the Portland Women’s History trail, which exists as two booklets and an actual walking trail through part of Portland. This project makes the trail, and the history it represents, more accessible and more complex, adding images, new narrative, documents, maps and eventually audio and video. The research and data produced and archived and the prototype developed allows further research and the creation of other kinds of trails, in Portland and across the state. The aim is to create applications for mobile devises that can use various types of digital data about specific sites on the trail. This information relates the Portland experience to regional, national, and international history.

Check out the innovative mobile application:

Project title: Envisioning Change: Sea Level Rise in Casco Bay
Project leader: Professor Jan Piribeck, Department of Art

Jan Piribeck copyBased on the principle that the arts can play a significant role in increasing environmental awareness, and can work with the sciences and technology to make visible something as incremental yet powerful as sea level change, Envisioning Change visualizes the impact of sea level rise in Portland, Maine and the Casco Bay region over a period of 200 years (1900-2100). The project engages artists, designers, community members and students in collecting and processing data, and will use a variety of analytic and expressive tools to chronicle and distribute information about the rising tides.

Project title: Digitizing Maine Chance Farm
Project leader: Professor Lisa Walker, Department of English

Lisa WalkerThe project aims to create a digital archive of the first destination beauty spa in the United States, called “Maine Chance Farm” that Elizabeth Arden established in Mount Vernon, Maine in 1934. A central part of the project is a fieldwork documentary project on Maine Chance. It involves collecting and digitizing, in searchable format, oral histories of Maine residents who worked at Maine Chance, which was in business from 1934 until 1970. The second aim of this project is to use the initial archive as the basis for creating an accessible, user-friendly web site that encourages others to contribute materials.

Project title: Stories of Maine’s Paper Plantation
Project leader: Professor Michael Hillard, Department of Economics

Michael HillardStories of Maine’s Paper Plantation is an oral and digital history archive that contains formal and informal descriptions and remembrances of life in Maine’s “paper plantation.” The archive comprises 150-plus interviews conducted by Professor Michael Hillard over a fifteen-year period starting from 2000. The interviews are organized into a searchable, index, with each item tagged with relevant metadata including date of interview, name of interviewee, employment location, work history, and other relevant information.

Project title: Documenting Maine’s World War I Memorials
Project leader: Professor Elizabeth Bischof, Department of History

Libby BischofThis digital humanities project aims to create a searchable digital inventory of Maine’s World War I memorials and monuments, including photographs (contemporary and historical), descriptions, inscriptions, mapped locations, and information on the history, creation, and dedication of each memorial. The second phase involves creating a website that will contain an interactive map that “pins” the location of each memorial, as well as includes research and narrative historical context about Maine’s WWI monuments and memorials, as well as those who commissioned, designed, and dedicated them.