Drawing of 1853 New York Crystal Palace

Revisualizing the Crystal Palace

As Digital Projects Assistant for Steven Lubar, I cleaned the data for the 1853 Crystal Palace Visualization, coordinating with the Brown University Center for Digital Scholarship. I also developed visualizations in Tableau Public, Palladio, and Google Fusion to accompany the “Cataloging History” series.

“Cataloging History” is a four-part series on the history and theory of museum and exhibition catalogs, focusing on the 1853 New York Crystal Palace. This first part considers the early history of this genre, tracing its roots to the catalog of the Museum Wormianum and the Louvre, and exploring the variety of uses to which early American museums put published descriptions of their collections and exhibitions. Part 2 looks in detail at the catalogs and guides published by and about the 1853 New York Crystal Palace. Part 3 considers the catalog as physical and digital object examining the affordances of each of these forms, what it encouraged and allowed. Part 4 applies the tools of the digital humanities to explore the Crystal Palace catalogs as a digital object. What can we do when we turn the catalog into a database?

I co-authored two installments in his Cataloging History series: “Catalog as Book, File, and Database” and “Revisualizing the Crystal Palace.” I co-presented the project for Brown’s Digital Scholarship Lab vSalon, a community of practice which regularly brings together Brown staff, students, and faculty to discuss visualizations. I presented a poster at DH2018 about the project, and the GitHub repository is available for anyone to build on the project.


Poster for DH2018