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A collection of screenshots of our work on the A Tale of Two Plantations website.

Project Overview

Entrusted by Harvard University's History Design Studio, Grafton Studio undertook the task of constructing a digital repository for the profound research done by Historian Richard Dunn, who dedicated forty years to research two plantations housing 431 enslaved individuals across seven multi-generational families in Jamaica and Virginia. We built a site that presents Dunn's decades of data while preserving the essence of his extensive efforts, integrating search functionality that allows users to filter and easily navigate family lists and ancestral ties. One of the focal points of the site is a digitization of Dunn's unique hand-drawn family diagram, spanning over 5 feet, to which we added interactivity and enhanced legibility.

Today, this website serves as a complementary research tool for readers of Dunn's seminal work, "A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia."

  • A screenshot of A Tale of Two Plantations' homepage.
  • A screenshot of A Tale of Two Plantations' "Family Diagram" page.

Working with Grafton Studio was not only a productive and satisfying experience, it was enlightening as well. The team’s openness to novel ideas, adaptability, and creativity produced a remarkable result.

Vincent Brown

Founding Director of the History Design Studio at Harvard University