Balsamo and her team built a database of the quilt, which is made of panels that honor people who have died from the disease covering 1.3 million square feet. The project is called AIDS Quilt Touch and allows people to easily find blocks and zoom into certain parts of the quilt.
Now users can only search by name, but Balsamo will apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities next spring so people can use city, birth date and death date to search. This expansion of the project would make it a valuable research tool and documentation of visual cultural trends.
Even though the possibilities are exciting, Balsamo said there is still more work to be done, such as identifying and labeling the individual panels that make up each block of the quilt.