Category Archives: Miscellaneous Thoughts

The light at the end of the tunnel….

It’s almost time. My website is very nearly finished. Just a few more pesky citations (I like to be mean to myself….always leave that wonderful stuff for last) and my work will be finished…and the website will be due. For real. As I think about the amount of work I’ve done on this project I can help but feel a little lame for how little I’ve posted on this blog and how little I’ve commented on others. This was a very new and, at times, bizarre experience for me so often it just never occurred to me to actually, you know, communicate. But I think that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in doing this project.

Alright. I’m going to stop procrastinating now.

Technology is a fickle friend

It’s eerie to me how gadgets seem to know when it’s crunch time. Printers suddenly run out of ink, copiers break, cell phone batteries die…

On top of the setbacks with limited space and the server being down this morning, I just lost all my prepared text for the website (which I was working on while the server was down this morning…so much for trying to be productive). So if my website is extremely image heavy at the moment, that’s why. I’m trying my best to roll with the punches, as I never expected this project to go smoothly, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

And so it goes…

In Philadelphia!

This week has been so hectic trying to finalize travel plans and appointments that I haven’t had a minute to think about anything else, let alone sit down to blog. For a while I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it down here afterall. But I left yesterday and arrived in Philadelphia this morning! In a couple hours I’ll head over to the Museum of Art archives to begin my research. I’m so excited to see what I will find and I sincerely hope there will be enough materials of interest and relevance to have Mary Curran be a prominent feature on my site.  I’m also hoping I can find some hint as to the nature of her leave of absence for military service.

I’ll make another post later to let you all know how it went!

Using TimelineJS

I thoroughly enjoyed creating my practice timeline in TimelineJS. It is incredibly easy to use and the finished product looks gorgeous. I will definitely think about using this for my final website as it is attractive, user friendly, fairly simple to create, and is a nice way to relay historical information. I really love the different media options it is able to include…not that I think I’ll be including any tweets in a timeline about WWI, but it’s nice to have the ability to do so if I wished. I’d give this tool an A+!

A Few Things

I have found some wonderful things this past week that have made me very hopeful for the end product of this project.

In the City’s 1918 annual report I found a transcription of a fantastic speech given by the Mayor which touches on the effects of war time on North Adams. I’ve also been looking through the yearbooks, which have luckily been digitized.

dedic

The 1918 yearbook in particular offers a great picture of the school activities during the war.

I also visited two of the massive cemeteries in town and found a gentleman who was twice a congressman on both State and Local levels and served on the World War Draft Board in 1917.

Overall it’s been a great week for this project and I’ve found that there are more materials available to me than I’d previously thought.

 

 

 

Browsing other Digital History Sites

Exploring the French Revolution: This site had an incredible wealth of information and could be very useful. Unfortunately, the site was a little out-dated, and despite being extremely organized, was still difficult to navigate considering the amount of information. I suppose “bulky” would be the right word to describe it. The search function, which was very well done, came in handy. I appreciated that I was able to do an advanced search with different specifications rather than simply entering a keyword and hoping for the best. It was also very text-heavy. Overall I’d say the content of the site is good but the presentation is off-putting.

Gilded Age Plains City: This site is much more appealing to the eyes and a little more modern. It is still very text-heavy, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but when creating a website it is good to have some variation. I really enjoyed the interactive map and thought it was a fun and interesting feature to add. It would also save time when doing research to be able to go straight to the location you’re looking for rather than have to sift through the whole site. Considering the number of different sections and the amount of text on the site, a search function would probably be very helpful.

1919 Molasses Flood: I absolutely loved the concept behind this site! I only wish it wasn’t so clumsy and difficult to navigate. It has great potential would be a fantastic site if the kinks were worked out. The content is really great and interesting but the problems with the mechanics of the site takes away from that.