Looking at Some Digital History Sites

Gilded Age Plains City site: http://gildedage.unl.edu/

When I was exploring the Gilded Age site, I was impressed by the layout and organization of the site. It is easy to navigate and has interesting information that delves into the story of Lincoln during the nineteenth century. I like that it provides historical information about the town and community rather than just focusing solely on the trial. This site contextualizes the event so the audience can thoroughly understand the situation.

I would like to incorporate the organized layout of this site into the Sarasota site that Joy and I will be creating later in the semester. In addition, this site engages the audience by telling a well-rounded story. When I do research on Sarasota, I will focus on finding evidence that explores the community of Sarasota during World War I and the Spanish Influenza to create a similarly engaging story that looks into the daily life of the community between 1914 and 1918.

The Valley of the Shadow site: http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/

I did not enjoy navigating The Valley of the Shadow site. It was annoying to have to return to the previous page to view the different sections. It would be easier if the sections were located in a contents table like the Gilded Age site so I could click on it to go to the other parts of the site. However, I did like the sections. The timelines were informative and for some parts of it I could click on it to delve into it more. This site provides a lot of information, it can be useful but also overwhelming.

This site is a good example for looking at the balance of a site. Too much information and links can disengage or overwhelm the viewer. It’s best to decide the focus of a site and limit the amount of sections within it. This site makes it difficult to navigate through it, but it has a lot of parts for its audience to view. This is not a good combination.

The Emancipation Project site: http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/emancipation/

I liked the organization of the site. It neatly lays out the various sources that relate to the site’s topic. I will look at this site and the site on the Gilded Age as reference for the layout of my future project. However, this site does not engage with its sources as much as the Gilded Age site. I would like to focus on both the story telling and the display of the various materials that relate to my topic. The Emancipation Project site is simple and organized but not interesting. It’s an okay site.

Sarasota Archival Materials

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have not been in town during ISP. However, I’ll be returning to Sarasota tomorrow and will start research immediately. Joy and I have both been in contact with Jeff LaHurd at the Sarasota County Historical Resources Center, so we just need to schedule a time to visit the center.

The oral history project from last semester provided me with some useful sites to add to our archival collection.

The Florida Memory site has a wonderful collection of photographs of Sarasota and Sarasota community. It also as a collection of World War I service cards. Here’s the link: https://www.floridamemory.com/solr-search/results/?q=%28sarasota%20OR%20tt%3Asarasota^10%29&query=sarasota

Another great site is the Sarasota History Alive site: http://www.sarasotahistoryalive.com/index.php?src=directory&view=Stories&srctype=detail&refno=1675&category=Journals%20of%20Yesteryear

This is all that I have to date, but will be on the look out for some more archival sources.

Until next time,

An Introduction


I’m Kana, a third year History AOC at the New College of Florida in Sarasota. This semester Joy and I will be exploring the community of Sarasota during World War I for the Century America project.

I’m excited to start conducting research with Joy since I would like to discover what Sarasota was like during the World War I period. Last semester, I worked on an oral history project that focused on local residents and their experiences growing up in the community. The oral history project was my first opportunity in exploring the history of Sarasota and it got me hooked!

Sarasota has a wonderful collection of archival sources such as the Sarasota County Historical Resources Center. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to meet up with Joy yet to visit the Resources Center since I haven’t been in town. January is ISP month at New College so we don’t have classes. I have been working on my project from home in Miami. I’ll be returning to Sarasota at the end of week and will delve into the archives as soon as possible. Stay tuned!

– Kana