A few more tweaks

Hello all,

I have done a few more tweaks to my site, and was hoping to receive some input. These are a few things I have completed, yet are slightly “iffy” about.

1. The Century America image as a header. I tried just using a typed title, but the font and format made the title appear really awkward. I’m not sure if I like the current image as a header, since it is not the title of my site, but we shall see.

2. The parent pages for F.S.N.S and Life in Farmington pages are complete (I think). I typed “Links” above the images and just put the title of the images to appear when the mouse hovers over. Again, I tried a more intricate setup, but couldn’t figure out how to make it look right. If anyone has any ideas feel free to let me know. I also fixed the galleries up a little, but they aren’t together in an organized way. I may have to use a different plugin? I also have a few more images to add to them.

3. Lastly, in an attempt to break up the voices section I put in drop down links which hide the player and text. All that appears upon arrival to the page is the title and reader. I’m thinking about putting in images of the person who read (if they would approve), but if not then it will remain blank.

Let me know what you all think of these changes, and feel free to critique. Thanks everybody!

Next Steps

1. Text- I currently have the majority of the text written, but still need to do more work on this. I have a few unpublished pages to add, and need to add some to the existing text.  I also need to put together the introduction, about, and credits page, which may become one page.

2. Media- I have a few more photographs that I still need to upload. I also need to incorporate quite a few more photos into my current pages. I decided to play with galleries instead of the slideshows, and need to work on a few more. The galleries currently appear at the bottom of the page, and I’m trying to get them to appear at the top. We will see if that’s possible. I may need to re-scan and/or re-size a few of the photos as well because some have gotten blurry when published, although they were clear when scanned. I am also considering using an image for the background of my site, and am considering photoshopping an old and new version of a building.

3. Transitions/Links- I have been experimenting with different menus and ways of moving from one page to another. I prefer not to use the next page and previous page links (and I’m not really sure why)so I’ve been trying to come up with different ways of navigating. I am thinking of providing links at the bottom of the page, and tried using pictures for the school portion, where each picture was representative of the next subject discussed. I may just use a normal link, but we shall see. As it currently stands, there are the picture links, then the gallery. If I can’t rework the gallery, then the images will definitely have to go.

4. Voices- I have more segments to add, and may need to record at least one that is currently published. For whatever reason, the second one on the current page is scratchier than the rest.

5.  Appearance and the little things. There are a number of small things that a need to fix. My site it very bland as it is, but this is somewhat intentional as i wanted to get the more important things done first. I also have to clean up a few little things, such as putting in the formal citations, credits and descriptions for photos, etc.


Perspectives on History

The first article I read was “A Historian in the World of Investments: How Historical Thinking Resonates in Business” by Chris McNickle. He writes of his experience as the global head of institutional business for Fidelity Worldwide Investment. In this article, he sets forth the argument that a background in history is important and sometimes even critical in the field of business. This article was particularly enjoyable because I am considering business as a career avenue (although not on that big of a scale) and it is good to know that there is a connection between the two disciplines.

The second article I read was “The historian’s Craft, Popular Memory, and Wikipedia” by Robert S. Wolff. In this article he describes the recent emergence of the internet, specifically the website wikipedia.com as a source of history by those with an average interest. The author tracks the usage and change taking place behind the entry “Origins of the American Civil War.” In this article he describes wikipedia as a forum for broad and open discussion on history from those who are not necessarily historians. It also provides an arena for debate. This article was particularly interesting because most professors encourage Wikipedia only for background and as a launching point for further research. Yet it seems that what is happening behind the scenes of these entries are informed debates one may have in the scholarly world.

Timeline Post

As was assigned for our class, I successfully made a timeline. I posted it as a page, which can be accessed here. At first, there was trouble in that the timeline was not loading. I went back and republished the timeline under Google Docs, copied the link, and re-posted the timeline successfully. I think the problem was that I put the link to the timelines in the text body instead of using the Timeline JS plugin. The second time around I used the “Add Timeline” option and it worked. I hope you all enjoy my timeline of the career of Linkin Park, one of my favorite bands!

Exploring Other Digital History Sites

1. Mapping the Republic of Letters by Standford University

At first glance the home page seemed promising. I liked the interactive panorama created by one of the team members. I also liked how the site seemed interactive and had a descriptive introduction as well as a video. Clicking on the “Case Studies” link, I also liked how they used portraits of the people they were studying. overall the website was fairly stylish and appealing to the eyes. I enjoyed the ease of access for the site, as everything was simply under one tab.

What I did not like about it was that after a few minutes I was still unclear as to the goals of the site. It took some digging to find where the important information was, which is under a section titled “Cases Studies” which seems like an odd title. Even under this section there is little details giving an overview on what is being done.

Overall I believe that this site is helpful in showing that there are many options to help emulate the personality of the researchers. I think that incorporating its easy accessibility will be very helpful.

2. Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database by Emory University

I really enjoyed looking through this site. I liked how almost everything was accessible through the homepage. The drop down links lets visitors find exactly what they need without sifting through the site. I also enjoyed the map, which gave a brief overview of the region when hovering the mouse over it. There also is a FAQ section and lesson plans.

The one thing I believe that the site lacks is pictures and/or animations. When clicking on the links to find more details, the visitor is almost bombarded by large amounts of text.

Overall I think that looking at the site has helped give me a lot of good ideas on what to include. I think that the layout is extremely easy to use but very effective.

3. The Valley of Shadow by the University of Virginia

I thought this site was very cool! The opening page explains the goal of the site, so the visitor is not confused and forced to extensively search the site. It is probably the easiest site to navigate, by breaking down the sources into time period, type of source, then based on which region. I also liked how there often was a comparison between the two regions. Lastly, they provided a very extensive bibliography and included where to find the sources.

There was not much I did not like about the site. I think the layout was useful, but plain. The content of the site was also very specific, which can be very good, but not very useful for a broad audience.

Overall I think that this site will be very useful for future projects. I think it is important to make the site easily accessible, especially for the content we are researching.

Archival Survey

Hello All! This post comes a little late, because this is actually only my second day of the semester. I haven’t had a chance to view any of the archival sources, but my librarians on campus have been very helpful in providing me with a list of starting points. These include a variety of local newspapers accessible on microfilm, the campus newspapers titled the Farmington Normal, various photo albums and other visual sources, Maine Board of Education Reports, and many more miscellaneous sources. I also have the contact information for the town librarian and director of the Farmington Historical Society. In the next few days I will have more time to dive into these sources, in which I will update this post.

Century America Project- blog