Mapping the University is a collaborative archival research project that examines the planning, construction, and expansion of two public university campuses in Virginia: George Mason University and Old Dominion University. With an emphasis on training students in archival methods and digital skills, the project is a collaboration between undergraduate and graduate students, archivists, historians, geographers, and digital scholars across two institutions. Using aerial photographs, interactive maps, and digitized archival materials, Mapping the University explores the construction of these two twentieth-century campuses to address the following question: what can the built environment of a college campus tell us about the changing social landscape of the university and its role in reshaping the surrounding areas?

This project was created at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University in partnership with the University Archives at Old Dominion University. The project is supported by a 4-VA Collaborative Research Grant.

Project Team

Jessica Mack, Project Director, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM), George Mason University

Steve Bookman, Co-PI and University Archivist, Old Dominion University

Laura Brannan Fretwell, Graduate Research Assistant, RRCHNM

Jason Heppler, Senior Web Developer, RRCHNM

Catalina Mayer, Undergraduate Research Assistant, RRCHNM

Joseph Moore, Undergraduate Research Assistant, RRCHNM

Greta Swain, Graduate Research Assistant, RRCHNM

Anna Woloshin, Undergraduate Research Assistant, ODU

Vanessa Baez, Graduate Intern, Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, GMU

Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media Team

Mills Kelly, Executive Director

Bridget Bukovich, Community Engagement Coordinator

Jason Heppler, Senior Web Developer, RRCHNM

Julia Hoffer, Grants Administrator

God’s Will Katchoua, Systems Administrator

Amanda Madden, Director of Geospatial History

Abby Mullen, Director of R2Studios

Lincoln Mullen, Director of Computational History

Thanh Nguyen, Office Manager

Jessica Otis, Director of Public Projects

Nate Sleeter, Director of Education


Special thanks to George Oberle, Anne Dobberteen, and the Black Lives Next Door project team at the Center for Mason Legacies, Yevette Richards Jordan from the Department of History & Art History, and Matt Rice from the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science. This project would not have been possible without the expertise and support of Lynn Eaton, Bob Vay, and Brittney Falter at Mason’s Special Collections Research Center, Lauren Zuchowski Longwell at the University of Virginia, Georgia Brown at the Fairfax Circuit Court Historic Records Center, and Elaine McRey at the Fairfax County Public Library Virginia Room.