Thank you for your interest in the creation of an EBBDA Exhibit. EBBDA is the Early Black Boston Digital Almanac- a site inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanack” dedicated to exposing interesting and edifying material and digital exhibits about the vibrant Black communities of Boston during the 18th and 19th centuries. All submitted exhibits will be reviewed by an editorial collective before publication. Check out below for a five-step breakdown of how students that have contributed to EBBDA have designed exhibits!

Select a topic.

EBBDA accepts a wide variety of topics, as long as they are related to early Black Boston.

You might consider creating an exhibit that is more history focused, such as Caroline Klibanoff's "Faneuil Hall: Cradle of Liberty, Funded by Slavery." A project such as this one will require a deep interest in  history and exploring our digital archive or visiting Northeastern University's Snell Library Archive and Special Collections, if you are a real history buff and you are able, you might even consider visiting a local Boston archive such as The Massachusetts Historical Society or The Boston Athenaeum. Further, Boston is a lovely city with a rich history. There are plenty of plaques, public history projects, and other things to observe during a "field-research" walk around the city.

If you are more interested in contemporary cultures of Boston, that is also a great start for building an exhibit. Just be sure to bring it back to Black Boston's historical roots. A great example of this can be found in Ben Ben Simonds-Malamud's "From Freedom Schools to the #BPSwalkout." This exhibit explores the history of Boston's Freedom Schools and links it to the student-led protests of the 21st century. Again, you can check out many of the same resources above,  and you can also find on a wealth of information that can be found on social media sites such as Twitter or YouTube. You might even consider interviewing Boston residents, officials, and other subjects (which might require the International Review Board [IRB] approval) to get full insight into what is happening around Black Boston.

You can click here to look at some EBBDA recommended journals/databases to jump-start your research, or help find and/or narrow down your topic.

Your exhibit must include an author/curator name, as well as a short ‘introduction to the topic’ section

All projects must include your full name (there's no anonymity, we want all scholars to receive credit for their work).

The short introductions should be a substantive paragraph, about 350-500 words, that state your main argument and how you'd like to situate it within the larger project of our site. You might also note the most influential scholarship to forming your work, any particular archival documents that you focus on, or how it relates to a course you took at Northeastern or any other institution. Ideally, these introductions give the reader a sense of how to read the exhibit and a taste of what is to come.

Required: Chicago Manual Style citations

This is a style of citations that uses footnotes instead of in-text citations such as Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA). While Chicago style is most common in the fields of Art History/Visual Culture, English and History, it might be new to some. Below is some helpful information for those getting started. Find the EBBDA Style Guide here.

There are many guides available online that can help you learn/use Chicago Style. Check out Purdue University's Owl Online Writing Lab for a great student-focused primer. You can also check out Chicago Manual Style's own site for information on its history and the theory that forms its citation.

The exhibits require Chicago style in an effort to keep the text in the exhibit clean, clear, and concise. We also link out to citations used, which is harder and "clunkier" with intext citations. Linking out which helps readers access the documents if they are interested in further research. You never know what your exhibit might inspire!

Chicago is currently on its 17th edition as of July 2019 and is the most ideal. We accept 15th and 16th editions as well.

Use both text and images

EBBDA is not looking for text only essays or galleries of stand-alone images. Be sure to strike a balance between the two in your exhibit, they should work in tandem to illuminate one another. While we don't have specific requirements or quotas, we encourage you to think critically about where, when, and why you are including the images.

When your exhibit is complete and ready for submission, please be sure to include the images embedded within the word document AND as additional .png or .jpg files. Having them embedded allows us to understand where they should be placed when we are translating the text into an online exhibit and having them as additional files ensure easy upload. Please be consistent and clear in titling the image files.

You are free to collect images from wherever, but they must be high-quality. If the images have a low resolution or are otherwise compromised, we might ask you for cleaner copies before we proceed further. We have a wide variety of images available here in our archive for you to get started with!

How to Submit

The submission process is fairly straightforward, but does require a few important steps.

All exhibits should be emailed as a Word Document (.docx) file. You may also use Google Docs (share a link to the document in an email from your exact address and relevant information, do not simply share the document itself as those are easily lost. As noted in step four, be sure to include the images as separate files (.png or .jpg only).

Please send all documents in a ZIP file titled YOURNAME_SHORTEXHIBITTILE_EBBDA. This is especially important for exhibits with lots of images and media. Sending as a ZIP file ensures that everything is downloaded together and will stay together in a folder. If you'd like more information on how to create a ZIP file, check out these resources to create a ZIP file using Windows, or using Mac.

Once your exhibit has been submitted, you can still make changes. Please be sure to submit changes as a response to the initial email, and not as a second (or third, or fourth!) separate email. This helps keep all versions of the document together, ensuring that we have the most accurate and up to date draft. Note: If you are using Google Docs, please still email to notify of changes. Making changes in the document without notification could result in missed changes.

Once the exhibit has been published on the site, you can continue to make small changes, but we do not have the capacity to overhaul exhibits.

To submit an exhibit or ask more questions email [EMAIL].

What Style of Writing are We Looking For?

See our Styleguide!

Recommendations for Topics and Resources

Recommended Topics

If you would like to contribute and exhibit, but are unsure of where to start below are some important topics that EBBDA is seeking to have covered on our site.

- Historical Maps of Boston-Based Novels

- Tracking Ownership/Housing in Boston

- Important Court Cases

- Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial

- George Middleton House

- The Phillips School

- John J. Smith House

- Charles Street Meeting House

- Lewis and Harriet Hayden House

- John Coburn House

- Smith Court Residences

- Abiel Smith School

Recommended Resources

Our Recommended Resources page has a list of open-access sites our community and student curators have used in the past. Because we link to all of the resources in the exhibit citations, open access is ideal-- we want all users to be able to do further research, not just those with subscriptions to peer-reviewed material. While it is not required, we do encourage it. This helps us make the history of Boston it's most accessible. Which is particularly important to the heart of our project. However, we do understand that this is sometimes hard to do. We don't want it to be an issue that compromises the quality of your work.

Recommended Sites, Archives, and Libraries

Boston has many incredible sites that you can visit for free (or with low expense for students and residents) that will help you find a topic or provide further insight into your work. If you are able, we recommend that you visit them.

- The African American Meeting House

- Fanuiel Hall-- not just for shopping, the site has plenty of important placards, statues, and monuments to check out!

- The Boston Anthenaum

- Harvard University's Hutchins Center for African American Research

- The Boston Heritage Trail