Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Period of Performance

9/1/2011 - 11/30/2015

Funding Totals

$49,982.00 (approved)
$49,568.03 (awarded)

Photogrammar Project

FAIN: HD-51421-11

Yale University (New Haven, CT 06510-1703)
Laura Wexler (Project Director: March 2011 to May 2017)

Development of a website that would offer new ways of organizing, searching, and visualizing the archive of 160,000 photographs produced by the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) from 1935 to 1943.

The Photogrammar Project is a Yale University Public Humanities Project designed to offer an interactive web-based open source visualization platform for the one-hundred and sixty thousand photographs created by the federal government from 1935 to 1943 under the Farm Securities Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI). The images offer an archive of American life that is a resource for students, academics, and the public at large. The interactive map will map the one-hundred and sixty thousand photographs over historical county and census data. Additionally, users will be given the tools to be able to construct statistical graphics and visualization from the data. For example, a user will be able to quickly plot the percentage of military images collected by month and location or see a gallery of share cropping images created in Georgia. The Photogrammar Project , all accompanying code and detailed documentation will be available to the public at large.

Media Coverage

Photogrammar: (Review)
Author(s): A. L. Michael
Date: 4/23/2018
Abstract: Review of the Photogrammar project

Associated Products

Photogrammar (Web Resource)
Title: Photogrammar
Author: Laura Wexler
Author: Lauren Tilton
Abstract: Photogrammar is a web-based platform for organizing, searching, and visualizing the 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI).
Year: 2011
Primary URL:

The Digital Public Humanities: Giving New Arguments and New Ways to Argue (Article)
Title: The Digital Public Humanities: Giving New Arguments and New Ways to Argue
Author: Jordana Cox
Author: Lauren Tilton
Abstract: In response to the latest “crisis” in the humanities, advocates have marched, rallied, fundraised, and—especially—argued. This essay contends that communication scholars can support the growing “case for the humanities” by analyzing argumentative strategies, and more specifically, by offering ethical argumentative strategies that avoid replicating structures of domination. In particular, we look to Mari Lee Mifsud's theorization of rhetoric as gift, which follows Henry W. Johnstone in conceptualizing argument as something other than winning over an adversary. We place Mifsud's theorization of the gift in conversation with the methods of the digital public humanities (DPH), which acknowledge and offer abundant resources for meaning-making. Through the methods of DPH, we offer a response to the humanities “crisis” that activates the humanities’ already broad constituencies by giving resources for humanistic inquiry rather than seeking to capture adversaries. Our case study is Photogrammar, a DPH project for organizing, searching, and visualizing the New Deal and World War II era photographs funded by the U.S. federal government. The project forefronts visual, nonlinear, and interactive argumentation in order to engage publics in generative humanistic inquiry. By enlisting participants and sharing expertise, Photogrammar shows how humanities advocates can deepen attachments to the humanities and build broad constituencies of collaborators and allies.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Review of Communication version
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Open Access version
Access Model: Subscription
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Review of Communication
Publisher: Taylor and Francis