electronic projects share new e-Lincoln Prize
of the Institute for Advanced Technologies in the Humanities
work from the online "Valley of the Shadow" project,
created by historians Edward L. Ayers, Anne S. Rubin and William
acclaimed U.Va. electronic archives for humanities research and
learning won the inaugural e-Lincoln Prizes, new awards of the
prestigious annual Lincoln Prizes, the most generous in the field
of American history.
for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
Valley of the Shadow: The Eve of the War," a CD-ROM and
Web site, created by historians Edward L. Ayers, Anne S. Rubin
and William G. Thomas and accompanied by a book, was awarded a
$40,000 first-place prize in the competition. The project, published
electronically by W.W. Norton & Co. and U.Va., exhaustively documents
the history of two Civil War era communities, North and South,
offering vast research resources.
$1000 second-place prize was won by U.Va. English professor Stephen
F. Railton for his Web site, "Uncle
Tom's Cabin and American Culture: A Multi-Media Archive,"
a joint project of U.Va. and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
in Hartford, Conn. The project focuses on the impact of the most
influential American novel of the 19th century.
Lincoln prizes, awarded by Gettysburg College, honor the finest
scholarly works on Lincoln or the Civil War era. For the first
time, they include the finest scholarly work produced in digital
form on the Web or CD or other forms of electronic distribution.
The prize board of trustees said the new element was added to
emphasize the vast potential of the Internet and electronic scholarship
in the field of history.
jury of scholars chose the winners from 24 electronic entries
and announced them on Feb. 12, Lincoln's birthday. Both widely
acclaimed digital projects were created and published electronically
through U.Va.'s Institute
for Advanced Technology in the Humanities and make use of
many documents from the University Library. Teachers, scholars,
students and the general public are able both to learn and to
conduct research about the 19th century through the electronic
of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
cover of Uncle Tom's Cabin from the Pleasant Hour Series (New
York: Barse and Hopkins, n.d. [c. 1900]). This publication
of Uncle Tom's Cabin was adapted for children by Mary E. Blaine
and illustrated by Hugo von Hofsten.
Valley of the Shadow Project takes two communities, one Northern
and one Southern, through the experience of the American Civil
War. The project is a hypermedia archive of thousands of sources
for the period before, during and after the Civil War from Augusta
County, Va., and Franklin County, Pa. Those sources include newspapers,
letters, diaries, photographs, maps, church records, population
census, agricultural census and military records. Students and
others can explore every dimension of the conflict and write their
own histories, reconstructing the life stories of women, African
Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers and families. The project
is intended for secondary schools, community colleges, libraries,
Ayers, the Hugh P. Kelley Professor of History, is the author
of The Promise of the New South and other books on Southern history.
He first conceived the idea of a dual community study of the Civil
War in 1990. He planned to pursue it through traditional means
of research until he saw that hypermedia offered new possibilities
for doing local studies.
Thomas, the Valley project manager, is director of the Virginia
Center for Digital History and received his Ph.D. in history from
U.Va. in 1995. Anne Rubin served as the Valley project manager
and also received her Ph.D. from U.Va. She is currently an assistant
professor of history at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County,
and still works on the project as a part-time consultant.
The Uncle Tom's Cabin project uses texts, illustrations and other
documentation to examine the novel's longtime impact on American
culture. The jury cited Railton's Web site for offering "what
would not be available in any single book library."