From the earliest days of settlement and migration, the people of North America have relied on maps and mapping to understand their environment and place within it. Maps have helped Americans prospect investments, comprehend war, and plan leisure in places unknown. As Americans have used maps to explore the U.S., capitalize on its resources, and displace its Native peoples, maps have shaped American cultural ideas about travel, place, and ownership. This exhibit explores the cultural and historic impact of mapping through four specific moments in American history: migration along the Oregon Trail, the rise of the lumber industry, the Civil War, and the popularization of the automobile and individual tourism. It concludes with a look at maps in the age of computers, the Internet, and beyond. These moments demonstrate the influence maps have had over how Americans imagine, exploit, and interact with national geographies and local places. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLAåÕs Digital Curation Program by the following students in Professor Helene Williams's capstone course at the Information School at the University of Washington: Greg Bem, Kili Bergau, Emily Felt, and Jessica Blanchard. Additional revisions and selections made by Greg Bem.
Tuning into the radio is now an integrated part of our everyday lives. We tune in while we drive, while we work, while we cook in our kitchens. Just 100 years ago, it was a novelty to turn on a radio. The radio emerged at the turn of the twentieth century, the result of decades of scientific experimentation with the theory that information could be transmitted over long distances. Radio as a medium reached its peakåÑthe so-called Radio Golden AgeåÑduring the Great Depression and World War II. This was a time when the world was rapidly changing, and for the first time Americans experienced those history-making events as they happened. The emergence and popularity of radio shifted not just the way Americans across the country experienced news and entertainment, but also the way theyåÊcommunicated. This exhibition explores the development, rise, and adaptation of the radio, and its impact on American culture.
After World War II, there was non-violent, political hostility between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR), which became known as the Cold War. During this contentious time, both nations created rockets for long-range military weaponry. The Cold War catalyzed the expansion of rocket technology and each countryåÕs desire to conquer outer space. Not only did America want to explore one of the last frontiers, it also wanted to claim technological dominance over the USSR and ensure AmericaåÕs title of superiority in a time of unease and tension. In 1955, the US and the USSR each announced plans to launch a satellite into orbit. Who would be the first to succeed? On October 4, 1957, the USSR launched Sputnik I into orbit, taking the lead in the Space Race. Only four months later, the US successfully launched its own satellite, the Explorer I, into space. In the wake of these first successful orbital space flights, President Dwight D. Eisenhower recommended to the US Congress that a civilian agency should be established to direct non-military space activities. Thus, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was born and the Space Race was underway. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the American space program and its new classes of astronauts achieved breakthroughs in science and space explorationåÑeven sending a man to the Moon. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLAåÕs Digital Curation Program by the following students in Professor Helene Williams's capstone course at the Information School at the University of Washington: Danielle Rios, Dianne Bohach, Jennifer Lam, and Bobbi deMontigny.