I’ve chosen to evaluate the Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge project from UCLA created with the toolset provided by the humanities virtual worlds consortium. This project utilizes investigative techniques and virtual worlds to do more than simply visualize ancient cites and art pieces. It aims to unpack and better understand an particularly controversial battle within Dublin’s Easter Rising of 1916. 700 men staged an armed uprising in the center of Dublin on April 24th, Easter Monday in 1916. These men seized the Mount Street bridge. By the end of the week there were over 2000 civilian and 400 British casualties making it one of the bloodiest weeks of the war.
Historic accounts of this event have always been contradictory and unclear. On top of the eye witness testimony has been repeatedly shown to be unreliable for particularly traumatic or stressful events. To try and get a clearer story of what actually happened researchers have painstakingly attempted to digitally re-create key moments from the week and re-build key buildings. Using witness testimony as a guide they’ve attempted to validate to discredit eye witness reports based on sightlines and plausibility. Although not fully digitally accessible at this time I like this project. It manages to go further than most DH projects that I have seen and has a very clear answer to the “so what” question. In fact the project’s creators have gone as far as to make their research available and relevant to modern political debates about the event.
I wish that the researchers could have made more of this project available to the public. I believe that without clear publicly accessibly documentation many of their conclusions may be discredited in the public’s eye. Overall I really like this project for its strong focus, unique perspective, and use of traditional digital tools in a novel way.

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