Mapping Oral Histories of Environmental Damage: a transhistorical survey of Lake Charles, LA

illustration of an old burnt letter folded into a paper boat on a stark white background

This project overlays demographic and environmental information from Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes in Louisiana onto maps of the area from the early twentieth century to the present day. The resulting research is used to create a tool that those local communities and scholars can use to examine the environmental impact of the new Sasol Ethane Cracker plant in Lake Charles. These maps offer a platform for locating text from oral histories, photos, and sound recordings of specific sites on the map so that locals, government officials, and researchers can connect with and reflect on their changing environment. This project uses georectified digitized print sources to create a virtual palimpsest for users to navigate.