The digital humanities project I chose to reverse engineer was the Illuminating Reno’s Divorce History
Background: From the early 1900’s to the 1970’s Reno was famous for having liberal divorce laws. Before the 1970’s, most states required you to prove fault of the spouse in order to get a divorce. Reno was the first city to introduce the notion of a no fault divorce. This, paired with the fact that you only needed to live in Nevada for 6 weeks to get residency made it the perfect place to go get a divorce. During this era, the phrase going to Reno was synonymous
with getting a divorce.
Source: All of the data from the backend of the project was collected from the University of Nevada Library and Special Collections Library. This was a very good source for a DH project, because its all available to the public for educational use, and much of the Nevada Library and Special Collections library have been digitized. It also, importantly has a wealth of information of the history of Reno divorce. The library includes a large variety of sources (pictured), ranging from legal documents to poetry.
Services: This digital humanities project includes many services. One service of the cite is a selection of time peace narratives, each using sources from the library intermixed with prose to illuminate a theme in the history of Reno divorces. Each theme included direct links to any sources used, as well as links to related readings to the readings in the sources. This really allows for user discovering and exploration.
This website seemed to me to be presented in three primary ways.
The first, is through a story driven narrative, styled in a manner similar to a newspaper article.
The DH aspect of the project, however, allows the users to go a layer deeper, and explore any relevant information included in the article on a much deeper level. This is presented to us in the form of an online library, where you can search for an ‘assets’ searching for keywords and applying a large selection of filters.
The third way is through an interactive timeline. This allowed users to see the
origin and progression of Reno divorce industry.