"Slave Streets, Free Streets" - Virtual Tour of Baltimore, c. 1815

Baltimore, 1815 (screenshot)

I was just discussing the nature of societies that coexist on top of each other with one of my classes earlier this week; in particular, the world of slaves and the world of free whites in New York during the mid-1700s. I recalled a study (the name of which escapes me - this was reading from back in college) that mapped out, on city streets, the daily paths taken, tasks accomplished, and social connections of both free and enslaved individuals.

Fortuitously, a similar study of Baltimore just hit the Historical Association's Facebook page.

I encourage you to read the article in Perspectives, the AHA's news magazine. Mapping out the individual lives of people who lived in times long gone brings to life one of the most beautiful things about history; the excruciating detail and depth of lives that we too often reduce to mere statistics and footnotes.

The project, completed between 2012 and 2014, resulted in what appears to be an incredible museum exhibit and this incredible virtual tour of Baltimore c. 1815. Not only can you get a bird's eye view of the city, but each significant building/landmark has a host of primary source material attached to it, explaining the history of each of those places.