Mixed Methods Research in Rosewood

The research driving this site utilizes a variety of methods. This includes historical archaeology, documentary research, oral history, and various digital methods. The first stage of the project centered on accurately locating structures that no longer exist. While limited archaeological excavations have taken place at various locations in Rosewood, this aspect of the project is ongoing and archaeology remains difficult given the ephemeral nature of historic structures, looting, and our dedication to sensitive collaborations with interested parties.

The archaeological research into Rosewood has recently received state funding from the Florida Division of Historical Resources. This will allow researchers to investigate new locations in both Rosewood and Sumner, further expanding the project’s focus to include both communities.

Therefore, initial work concentrated on two interrelated goals. The first explores geospatial techniques for relocating destroyed structures on the landscape. This was accomplished through the use of geographic information system (GIS) combining property deeds, census records, and various historic data. This methodology involves: (1) identifying appropriate historic property records, (2) translating the boundary information in the document into a GIS file, (3) identifying the owner in the census, (4) adding this census data to the GIS record, and (5) overlaying this information on other forms of data to visualize the locations of destroyed structures.

The second goal draws on digital heritage to virtually reconstruct Rosewood using video game technologies. Oral histories, photographs, and architectural documentation of nearby historic structures guide this reconstruction. You can interactively explore a fully reconstructed Rosewood here.

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