Benjamin Roy’s newly formed roll on The First World War Letters of H.J.C. Peirs is designed to help move the project forward using interactive digital media to help visitors visualize Jack’s experiences on the western front. His first project is to create a map that tracks Jack’s movements throughout 1915, his first year at war. Benjamin is working on the project as part of a Digital Scholarship Fellowship at Musselman Library, Gettysburg College.
Unlike other students who have worked on the project, Benjamin has never worked with the Peirs collection in class. He comes to the project after working in Special Collections and College Archives – transcribing letters and editing metadata. In Special Collections, he has been adding content to the online Civil War Ear collection.
Benjamin grew up in Northern New England before his family moved to Golden Valley, NC. He came to Gettysburg as a History major with minors in Public History and Civil War Era Studies. He has not studied abroad yet, but is considering programs in France and England. His ultimate goal is to earn a PhD and teach at the collegiate level.
After spending a lot of time studying the American Civil War, Benjamin has been expanding his knowledge of the Great War, especially the soldiers who fought it. He is interested in combining his understanding of military history with social history to study how the Great War was seen, felt and heard one man at a time. And he is incredibly excited about bringing one of those perspectives to life through digital media. One thing that he did not expect from Jack’s letters was how often he wrote home. He enjoys the details in the letters and Jack’s wit. The anecdotes and wry comments in the letters are helping the Great War come alive for Ben.
Mussleman Library’s Digital Scholarship Fellows program is supported with funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It has two different tracks, the first is an intensive summer experience which allows fellows to research a topic in depth while learning the philosophy and methodology of Digital Humanities, the other is a fellowship during the academic year in which students hone their technical skills with popular DH tools while assisting students and faculty with digital project assignments. For more about our Digital Scholarship Fellows and to see past projects visit https://www.gettysburg.edu/musselman-library/about/employment/digital-scholarship-summer-fellows