Emory University to launch web-based mobile campus tour with panel of historians Sept. 19

Published 09-08-2015

A screenshot of the new Emory Campus History Tour homepage.

Two Emory Libraries fellows have combined history and technology to create a tour of the Emory University campus and Emory Village that is accessible by smartphones and tablets, and the Libraries will launch the project with a panel discussion in mid-September.

“Atlanta’s Living History,” presented by Emory historians and researchers and open to the public at no charge, is set for Saturday, Sept. 19, from 1-2 p.m. in the Jones Room on Level 3 of the Robert W. Woodruff Library. Panelists include Gary Hauk, Emory University Vice President, Deputy to the President, and Emory historian; Sally Wolff-King, senior editor of health publications at the Emory Clinic and adjunct faculty at Emory University School of Medicine; Leslie Harris, associate professor of history and African American Studies at Emory; and NaVosha Copeland, a senior in Interdisciplinary Studies in History, Society, and Culture at Emory.

The Emory Campus History Tour (http://tour.emory.edu) uses historical materials housed in Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) to lead visitors on a directed mobile tour of the historic Druid Hills campus, which was deeded to Emory in 1915. Maps, video clips, and images combine with the narrative to tell a story of the campus and its development throughout the 20th century.

Matthew Strandmark, a research library fellow working in MARBL, and Anne Donlon, a postdoctoral fellow with MARBL and the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS), co-developed the mobile application – which is web-based and does not require a download. The tour is designed for a variety of audiences, including one-time visitors, prospective students, Emory alumni, and those who are interested in the history of the area.

Dedicated in 1937, the Haygood-Hopkins Memorial Gate stands at the main entrance of Emory University's main campus. This photo was taken around 1949. Credit: Emory University Archives.

The app provides a recommended route through the historic Emory University campus, near the Emory University Quadrangle and adjacent to Emory Village. However, users can explore the 14 tour stops in any order on their mobile phones or tablets. The in-person tour takes less than an hour to complete. Those who are not able to visit the campus can take the tour online.

The tour was created with OpenTourBuilder, an open-source software developed by ECDS with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In conjunction with the Emory Campus History Tour launch, OpenTourBuilder workshops will be offered on Sept. 22 and 23 in ECDS, on Level 3 of the Woodruff Library. Participants can register on the workshops page to learn how to build their own tours on the OpenTourBuilder platform.

The Sept. 19 event is offered with grant support from Georgia Humanities. The Woodruff Library at Emory University is located at 540 Asbury Circle in Atlanta, 30322. Parking is available in the Fishburne deck. Parking for the self-guided mobile tour is available at the Oxford Road and Fishburne decks.

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