My name is Karen Sieber, and I am a PhD student in United States History and Public History at Loyola University Chicago with interests in the digital humanities. I curated and designed Visualizing the Red Summer as part of my senior honors thesis while an undergraduate student at UNC Chapel Hill. I graduated with honors and highest distinction in December of 2015,  with a double major in Urban History (Interdisciplinary Studies) and American Studies.

Visualizing the Red Summer was made possible through a  SURF fellowship awarded by UNC  to travel across the country to collect primary documents from the institutions housing them (listed at the end).  While over 700 items have been added to the archive, hundreds more items have been identified and can be added to the collection in the future. I hope to get additional funding to expand the archive to include identified but not yet digitized materials about the riots across the US, as well as expand the material and data visualizations to include riots happening across the globe in 1919, including in Russia, the UK and Canada.

The digital visualizations used on this site were created using DH Press, a digital humanities tool-kit designed by the Digital Innovation Lab and available for download on Github. Sieber previously managed a project in the DIL mapping over 2,000 residents of the Loray Mill village in 1920 and telling their stories, available here.

Visualizing the Red Summer was made possible by the kind support of librarians and curators across the country. Contributing institutions include:

  • Ida B. Wells papers, University of Chicago, Special Collections
  • Julius Rosenwald papers, University of Chicago Library
  • University of Illinois at Chicago Special Collections
  • Douglas County(NE) Historical Society
  • William Tuttle papers, University of Kansas, Spencer Research Library
  • Carl Sandburg papers, University of Illinois at Champagne Urbana
  • Don Payne Collection, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Mc Clung Collection, Knoxville Public Library
  • Tennessee State Library and Archives
  • Charles Hillman Brough Collection, Arkansas History Commission
  • James Weldon Johnson papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University
  • Center for Arkansas History and Culture (CAHC), University of Arkansas Little Rock
  • Auburn University Libraries
  • University of Georgia – Athens Libraries
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • Georgia State Archives
  • Georgia State Supreme Court
  • South Carolina Historical Society
  • Library of Congress
  • Archibald Grimke papers, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
  • National Archives at College Park, MD
  • WEB DuBois papers, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • NAACP Anti-Lynching files microfilm
  • Tuskegee Institute’s News Clipping Files (microfilm)
  • Newspapers.com

All of the items collected for these visualizations originated before 1923 and therefore should be considered part of the pubic domain. Attempts were made to contact every institution out of courtesy about using documents in their collection, with citation included. All collections are public and open to research. If you retain the copyright for something on this site and wish for it to be removed, please contact me through the form below or at ksieber@luc.edu. You can also visit my website ksieber.com.

Also, I’d love to hear how people are using the site, what connections they’re making and what they’ve learned about the Red Summer (or perhaps current events) as a result?