"What Shall be the Character of this Vast Western Territory?: National, Expansion, Imperial Ideology, and the Utah Expedition, 1857-1858" is a work of digital historical scholarship in progress. This form of scholarship employs freely available digital technology and tools as a part of the research methodology used in constructing a nuanced and multidimensional, or non-linear, argument. Digital tools, such as TokenX, Wordle, and MIT's SIMILE software, have created visualizations, which have provided new insights into this historical inquiry. The visualizations have made interesting patterns and keywords visible and are included as visual evidence for readers.
This scholarship also contains a digital document archive of primary sources from newspaper articles and official government proclamations. Other sources and historiographical information are included in the interactive bibliography. These sources make up the corpus of data that have been used to create word clouds and perform other textual analyses. The timeline illustrates a time-based map of the coverage of public rhetoric concerning Utah affairs before, during, and after the Utah Expedition.
Special thank you to Dr. Douglas Seefeldt for his direction and assistance in constructing this argument in its digital form, Jason Heppler for providing some technical tips and friendship, Brian L. Pytlik Zillig for creating the text analysis tool TokenX, Jonathan Feinberg for creating Wordle, and MIT's SIMILE project for creating so many wonderful and useful digital tools.
If you have information or comments regarding the argument and contents, please contact:
Brent M. Rogers
Ph.D. Student in History
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
612 Oldfather Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0327