about the LACES project

Welcome to LACES – the Languages, Arts, Cultures, & Ethnicities of St. Louis! The LACES Project was born out of a desire to provide primary sources for our community to inquire about the laces that tie us all together.

As a group of educators from a university (UMSL), the arts community (Springboard), and from an advocacy organization (MIRA), we ask you: Who/what is St. Louis? Who makes up our community today, and who made it up in the past? What are, and what have been, our languages, arts, cultures, and ethnicities?

This project and the collection of resources will be an on-going, evolving venture. While we have started with maps from the colonial era, naturalization records from the turn of the century, and narratives from the most populous refugee group of the 2000s (Bosnians), we recognize that we are missing a lot, from the settlement of Italians, Germans, and Irish, to inter-state African-American migration.

Our hope is that this website becomes a living resource. Please join the discussion to share your own migration story, explain how you used this website as a teacher or as a community member, or suggest resources for our collection.

The LACES project is led by Dr. Lisa Dorner at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). Its creation has been supported by SpringboardDr. Wendy Saul, Allen B. and Helen S. Shopmaker Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and the Center for International Studies Resource Library. The work was inspired by a related project created by Sarah Coppersmith and supported by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. Students from UMSL, especially Sarah Coppersmith, Alice Floros, Midheta Mujanovic, and Ronni Zagora, have been central to LACES. We thank everyone for their inspiration and look forward to your additions to this work!