Artist, educator and 2023 Library of Congress Innovator in Residence Jeffrey Yoo Warren is inviting the public to visit an immersive 3D reconstruction of historic Providence, Rhode Island’s Chinatown in 1914, recreated using archival photographs and records from the Library’s collection. The model is the first part of Yoo Warren’s project, Seeing Lost Enclaves: Relational Reconstructions of Erased Historic Neighborhoods of Color, which aims to unearth lost histories from across the United States.
Complete with navigable buildings, glowing lamplights and the sounds of evening rain, the virtual Providence Chinatown reimagines a once-vibrant neighborhood, of which little trace remains today.
Along with the 3D reconstruction, Yoo Warren is also releasing a relational reconstruction toolkit for the public’s use, featuring tutorials and resources for reconstructing other community spaces with materials from the Library.
“The process of virtual reconstruction, especially when building on personal connection to a place, can be both enlightening and healing,” said Yoo Warren. “I look forward to connecting with folks seeking to better understand and relate to their histories through these techniques.”
The public is invited to join a virtual visit to Providence’s historic Chinatown and learn more about the relational reconstruction toolkit on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. ET. Event information can be found at labs.loc.gov/events.
In the second year of his residency with the Library, Yoo Warren will work with artist and educator Dri Chiu Tattersfield to reconstruct the historic Chinese vegetable gardens of Portland, Oregon. Yoo Warren will also host public workshops on a national tour of former Chinatown sites including Portland, Riverside, California and Terrace, Utah. Yoo Warren hopes his work will honor and encourage a deeper understanding of these lost neighborhoods and what their stories mean for Asian Americans today.
For more information about Yoo Warren’s upcoming project releases and future tour dates, sign up for the Seeing Lost Enclaves mailing list at LC-Labs@loc.gov.
Like previous Innovator in Residence experiments – Library of Colors, Citizen DJ, Newspaper Navigator and Speculative Annotation– Seeing Lost Enclaves is the result of collaboration between outside innovators and Library subject matter experts to develop unique ways for the public to interact with the Library’s expansive digital collections.
To explore the wide range of digital experiments from LC Labs, visit labs.loc.gov.
The Library’s Digital Innovation Division, LC Labs, supports the Library’s mission to engage, inspire and inform Congress and the American people with a universal and enduring source of knowledge and creativity. LC Labs is home to the Library of Congress Innovator in Residence Program; leads experiments with AI and other new technologies; and supports communities in exploring the Library’s data and digital collections. Learn more about the Library’s approach to digital strategy and visit labs.loc.gov to see this work in action.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.