Timelines can help audiences visualize how events occurred in sequence, in relation to one another, and in context with other events.


Traditional maps (contemporary and historical) and narrative-driven StoryMaps help audiences understand how events, locations, or other content relate to one another geographically.   


Most presentations rely on text in some form. Which text-based sources will best help you to achieve your goals for your project? Consider both primary sources—letters, diary entries, etc.—and secondary sources—books, journal articles, online articles, etc. 

Word clouds, treemap charts, and other text-based data visualizations can help audiences understand hierarchies, including the most prominent words and themes in a text.

Historical newspaper databases:

Note that some historical newspaper databases (outside SLU) may have a paywall. But most archives will allow you to search for free—obtaining the name and date of your desired publication can help you locate the record from another free service.) 

TIP: Images of newspaper clippings can also add visual interest to your narrative.


Which images, illustrations, videos, 3D models, etc. would help your audience to visualize your subject(s)?

Image databases:

  • Academic Images—an extensive list of digital image resources.
  • AP Images—Over six million images from the Associated Press, one of the largest and oldest news organizations in the world.  Images date back to the mid-nineteenth century and more than 3,500 new photographs are added daily.
  • ARTstor  (via SLU Databases)—A worldwide index of digital images. Includes photographs, maps, posters, architectural plans, sculptures, paintings, and illuminations.
  • New York Public Library Digital Collections—Explore 897,000+ items digitized from the library’s collections. Features prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.


Statistics can help you locate the story or stories within your data and research. Presenting the right statistics in a compelling way can help you convey those stories to your audience.

What data or datasets are you working with? How can you best help viewers to visualize or contextualize the information? 


Which audio recordings could help enrich your viewer’s sensory experience of your topic and further connect them to a place and time? Consider drawing on existing audio archives or capturing your own field recordings or oral history interviews.

Existing audio archives:

Tips for capturing your own oral history interviews:


Which archival materials—photos, motion pictures, home recordings, sound recordings, etc.—can help viewers relate to the events or time periods you are covering?

  • SLU Digital Collections 
  • SLU Special Collections
  • Saints Sports Articles Archives -- News stories archives for the StLawrence University Saints.
  • New York Heritage – From the site’s “About” page: “The collections in New York Heritage represent a broad range of historical, scholarly, and cultural materials held in libraries, museums, and archives throughout the state. Collection items include photographs, letters, diaries, directories, maps, books, and more.”