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Digital Humanities Institute

The Lower St. Johns Digital Archive: Science and Society

aerial view of a Jacksonville BridgeThe St. Johns River’s lower segment runs through Jacksonville into the Atlantic Ocean. This natural resource is such a major part of our society, in so many ways, that we feel it is time to provide a mechanism for the community to share and learn about it from all aspects. This project would create a digital archive to allow collection of data/photos/audio/video about the river from multiple perspectives; history, music, geography, economics, demographics, biology, chemistry, and so many more. Data and files of all types would be uploaded, curated, and made available for residents to learn and appreciate this amazing resource. The site could then be used in formal and informal education, research, planning, and in celebration of the river. Partners would include local government, state agencies, community groups, local businesses and local high schools and colleges. UNF students in different disciplines will be invited to do targeted research in their area using the archive as a base.

The project would be implemented using the free Fedora Commons (FC) digital repository software and based off of the UNF Environmental Center’s existing digital archive about the UNF Preserve ( and the Lower St. Johns River report Digital Archive ( FC allows any file to be uploaded and annotated with metadata that characterizes the content of the file. Text within the files can be searched and the files can be linked together to create collections dynamically. The UNF Preserve website also uses another free software package called CakePHP to create the web interface to FC and this allows creation of rich webpages and will provide mechanisms for other websites to use the LSJR Archive resources in other web projects.


Stuart Chalk headshotFaculty Project Leader

Stuart Chalk

Photo courtesy of Florida History Online