Digital Mapping Lecture Reaction

Digitally Mapping Medieval Women and the Circulation of Material Culture: Crossing Boundaries and Connecting Spaces

On January 30th, 2020 I attended the lecture by Tracey Chapman Hamilton, a professor at VCU about the culture of medieval women through gifts they gave each other. I learned a lot about the royal women of France, and having never taken French it was really cool to listen to the language. Hamilton  showed in detail a very old manuscript of Queen Marie which had various seals and crests of other royals within it.

For the first half of the talk I was confused on the relation of French royals and their seals to digital studies. But the second half of the talk focused more on the digital mapping tools Hamilton used to make the connections.

Hamilton used a mapping program called Parto to place points of where objects were given and connect them to who gave them to each other. She specifically followed Marie and learned that Queen Maire would give gifts around the places where she lived to the place where she was born which promoted pilgrimage.

The digital mapping program was expanded to show a giant map of dots with connecting lines. The program was designed so that when you click on a dot it shows you all the information about what the object was and who gave it to who.

It is interesting how she was able to see where the objects came from based on old documents.

Having not know anything about medieval culture or royal blood lines of France, the talk was very interesting to me to learn about these new things!

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