I have made two major updates to the Virtual Rosewood Research Site (VRRP) in the past couple of months. The first update is the addition of oral history transcriptions to the VRRP Data Warehouse. The second major update involves the completion of the Virtual Rosewood online world.
Rosewood Oral Histories Online
The first update involves the addition of several oral history transcriptions from Rosewood survivors and descendants as well as witnesses to the 1923 riot which destroyed the town. The oral histories were collected by a group of historians as part of the compensation bill which made its way through the Florida state legislature in 1993 and 1994.
During the final four months of 1993 a group of dedicated historians were charged by the State of Florida with the considerable task of constructing an accurate history of Rosewood and the 1923 race riot. These researchers collected fourteen oral histories as part their research, which was presented to the Florida State Legislature. These oral histories were published in a seperate volume from the researcher’s findings. Volume One of the 1993 report by Maxine Jones, Larry Rivers, David Colburn, R. Tom Dye, and William Rogers has been availalbe online for years.
These oral histories remain a vital source of informaiton about Rosewood and the 1923 race riot. However, few have had access to them because the transcriptions were only published in a limited number of volumes. When I began my research in 2008 the majority of the individuals intereviewed in the early 1990s had already passed away. Hopefully, providing this information will allow more people to explore the history of Rosewood and the effects of the riot through the voices of those who experienced it.
You can download fully searchable PDF versions of these fourteen oral histories using the links below. I do not claim any form of ownership and provide them here free of charge. The oral histories are accessible here.
Virtual Rosewood Online Completed
The second update to the VRRP is the completion of the virtual world environmental (VWE). Visitors can now experience a completly reconstructed, virtual version of Rosewood as it existed prior to the 1923 race riot. This VWE was constructed using a suite of programs. Autodesk 3DS Max Design was used to model to the structures, Adobe Photoshop was used to create textures for each structure, and the entire VWE was assembled and published using the Unity 3Dgame engine. The layout of the community is based upon the spatial template created by mapping historic property (HP) ownership with ESRI’s ArcGIS geographic information system (GIS) software. The present version of Virtual Rosewood was completed by one person (me) between June 2010 and June 2011. In all, the virtual reconstruction took about 600 hours to complete. This does not include the several months in late 2009 and early 2010 spent researching and creating the HP-GIS.
In the coming months I will develop platform specific versions of Virtual Rosewood. This will allow users to explore the landscape outside of a web browser using their PC or Mac computer as well as their Apple or Android mobile phones.
Thanks for reading!