Redundant as it may seem to say, Kindred Britain is a project that spans generations. Not only the generations of the database’s inhabitants, spread over the last thousand or so years as they are, but the more recent and less distinctly segregated generations of scholars. As an undergraduate research assistant, I was fortunate enough to be one of two people to work on Kindred Britain who was born after the Internet.
Kindred Britain did not, simply on premise, impress me. I’ve read articles for months -- on my personally tailored RSS feed -- about the rise of data visualization and interdisciplinary projects on university campuses. I got my email address at age eight. I can barely remember a time when “Googling something” for the answer was not an option.
It took a little discussion with my superiors for me to fully grasp -- and even now, I’m not sure that someone of my age can -- the significance of a project like Kindred Britain. The professor from whom the project sprang like a regular Athena, Nicholas Jenkins, was trained as a scholar in the ‘90s, roughly around the same time that the commercialized Internet and I made our way into the world, one of us with slightly more impact than the other. He was educated in a world where the spheres of the humanities and technology simply did not touch, nevermind overlap to create a data visualization project integrating traditional scholarly narratives.