Friday, February 12, 2016

NYPL - NEW Digital Resource

Brian Foo with the New York Public Library has developed a great interface for digital content gleaned from NYPL and University of South Carolina resources. With guidance from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the team generated heat and cluster maps based on Victor Green's automobile travel directories.
Consulting the 1947 cluster map, one can then link to the digital Negro Motorists' Green Book of the same year.

At that time, Manhattan, Kansas had two Yuma Street tourist homes that catered to black travellers. Kansas City was a regional epicenter, with beauty parlors, a country club, garage, hotels, night clubs and tourist homes.

Consulting the 1956 cluster map reveals that while Manhattan venues remained virtually the same, options had diminished quite a bit in Kansas City.

Of course, highways have changed and many regions did not provide amenities, so the interface that allows you to map from one location to another based on the 1947 and 1956 guides may yield some wonky results.  Try going from New York City to Grand Forks, ND and see where the pathfinders take you.

Images above:  NYPL Labs. Navigating the Green Book. Screen shots captured 12 February 2016. Main URL:

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