The Negro Travelers' Green Book, Spring 1956

About the Green Book

Begun in the 1930s, Victor H. Green’s travel guide series promising “Assured Protection for the Negro Traveler” ran through the Jim Crow era into the Civil Rights period of the 1960s. The twentieth-anniversary edition featured in this collection compiles over 1700 hotels, tourist homes, restaurants, and other establishments. Approximately 1500 of these listings are represented on the corresponding Google Map.

Connie Geer originally scanned and compiled metadata from the South Caroliniana Library’s copy of the 1956 Green Book in May 2011 as part of the K–12 Primary Sources Pilot Project. The pages were scanned as 300-ppi, 24-bit color TIFFs using an Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner and SilverFast scanning software. These TIFFs were then copied as JPEGs and cropped using Adobe Photoshop CS4 before being uploaded to CONTENTdm. For this version of the digital Green Book, Matthew W. Shepherd (MLIS candidate, USC SLIS) revised the metadata and uploaded the JPEGs as a separate collection in CONTENTdm.

About the Map

The Green Book map is a joint project by the SC Digital Academy and the Digital Collections and African American Studies departments of the University of South Carolina. Connie Geer headed the project, while Matthew W. Shepherd developed the map. Matthew created a customized Google Map and geocoded the Green Book listings in June 2011. This Google Map was exported as a KML file and then uploaded to Google Fusion Tables as a spreadsheet. Using the Google Maps, Fusion Tables, and Visualization Javascript APIs, Matthew coded and developed the present interactive map and Web pages in Adobe Dreamweaver.

The data for the map comprise the listings from the Green Book that were locatable to within approximately a half-mile radius. Some of the listings are represented by approximate locations or omitted from the map due to discrepancies between the listings as cited and the current map data available through Google Maps. These discrepancies include the following:

Various errors and discrepancies present in the original text have been indicated by including corrections and notes in square brackets in the listings’ information. Road names that have identifiably changed since 1956 are listed as in the text with the current name added in square brackets, such as for several streets now named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At present, the Green Book map is still undergoing development.

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