The Project

The Stratford Heritage Guide examines the historical trajectory of how people are expected to engage with sites of memory and  memorialization related to William Shakespeare. As Julia Thomas states in her monograph Shakespeare’s Shrine, “the guidebook constructs a community of ‘pilgrims,’ of visitors linked across time and circumstances in their tours of the same buildings, witnessing of the same scenes, and experiencing of the same emotions”. The map, which was created using Leaflet with MapBox tiles, pinpoints the various tourist sites related to Shakespeare in Stratford and the surrounding area. There are twelve layers on the map, each representing a different guidebook. On a layer, the pins are numbered to indicate the order that guidebook suggests visitors tour the different sites. The popup tied to the pin includes an image of that site as portrayed in that guidebook (if available) and link to a page analyzing the way that site is described across the corpus of guidebooks. The methods for developing the visualizations on each of these site pages can be found on the "Methods" page. Each of the guidebooks can be access via the "Guidebooks" tab, which includes a collection of buttons that take you to the Google Books copy of each guidebook. 

The Project Director

Katherine I. Knowles is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of English at Michigan State University. She received her BA from Hanover College and her MA from the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute. In addition to her degree, she is pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities. Her research interests include early modern drama, affect theory, and spatial practice.


This project would have not been possible without the support of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowship. Thank you to Ethan Watrall and the CHI '22-'23 fellows cohort for all of their help in the development of this project. Thank you also to Sam Jones, who helped take the photographs featured on the site pages. Finally, a special thank you to Kate Topham, Digital Humanities Archivist at Michigan State University, who helped me figure out topic modeling and transforming the data generated by the topic models into understandable data visualizations.