Bookstore Location Data & GIS Mapping
Below is a sampling of maps documenting New York City bookstores, 1820-1860. Maps created in ArcGIS. The historical base map is an 1845 Samuel Breese map of New York City accessed through David Rumsey’s online map collection and georeferenced in ArcGIS. The street line base map created in ArcGIS using the Breese map.
New York City directories from 1820 to 1860 were the main data sources, supplemented by advertisements, bookseller’s tickets, and other ephemera. Entry collection focused on self-identified bookstores and booksellers with a business address. Booksellers also listing additional jobs–printer or stationer, for instance–were included, though entries listing only printer, stationer, or publisher were not. Location data was compiled in Excel before importing into ArcGIS. Once plotted using a contemporary address locator, individual entry locations were verified and corrected, if necessary, using a street directory/vade mecum (from the years 1840, 1845, and 1860).
Co-founder, Current affiliated researcher
NewYorkScapes is a research community exploring the application of concepts, tools, and resources in the digital humanities to the study of urban space. Through conversation and collaboration among scholars, archivists, artists, and activists, it seeks to facilitate the development of projects related to interpretation, curation, and communication of the documentary record of New York City, and projects engaging with the aesthetics, art, literature, design and other experiences of the city. What new opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration do digital tools afford scholars working in these areas? How might new digital tools make the art, culture and history of New York visible in new ways, to new publics? How might multidisciplinary inquiry into the city’s evolving cultural geographies foster critical engagement with institutions, media, spaces, and performances that continue to shape urban experience and humanist practices in the 21st century?