First off, everyone’s websites are really coming together, and we can’t wait to see what the finished products look like! Thanks for all of your updates last Thursday, and your input for the final overarching site that those of us here at Mary Washington are creating! We will be putting the finishing touches on the site soon, and would like your continued critiques as we complete the remaining tasks.
As for how our progress is going, we can’t really complain! We’ve been really lucky to have been able to rely on each other, and thank goodness for Jack and Leah and their knowledge regarding WordPress and programming! Often Candice and I feel like we can’t contribute that much in regards to the technical aspect, but luckily this past Thursday night after hours of fiddling with widgets we successfully created the “Voices of the Great War” widget to show up on individual pages, and were able to make them different for each page. We’ve also just been editing little things about the site, such as fonts, color schemes, and finishing up citations – that will probably consume the majority of our remaining time on the site, since we want to make sure everything is given proper credit.
For the overarching Century America site, we are still working on embedding the map into the site, and have decided to create a new page specifically for the map so that the home page isn’t as overwhelming or distracting. We are also working on editing the timeline that Leah has put together – we just need to add a few more events and the pictures, so I will be doing that and attempting the citations. We’re on the right track though, and can’t wait to show our finished site to everyone in our class, and the world!
After a long process of trying to divvy up the work for this project evenly amongst the four of us, we have finally finalized the work load and prepared a schedule for ourselves which we will use to keep us on track and provide the basis for the group contracts that are due next Thursday. As of now, in the grand scheme of things we know what we want our final website to look like and have decided on a layout of the material – we just haven’t quite selected the WordPress theme that we would like to use. We also need to choose a theme for the overall Century America website since we will also be responsible for putting together that home page, along with a map and timeline that will live on the site to show how all of the participating schools correlate with one another.
This week, we also did a lot of problem-solving with Dr. McClurken to try to figure out what we have to do before we can get started on the building of our site. We are trying to meet up with some of the wonderful people at DTLT here at Mary Washington to figure out if there is a free map software that we can use for the Century America site – Candice and I will probably also talk to the head of our GIS department here (since we are both familiar with making maps digitally) to see if there is a way to create an interactive map without all viewers owning the appropriate software. We are also trying to figure out a way to create overlapping timelines with local events from each of the schools as well as national events so that we can see the correlation across the US.
On Monday, we met to discuss the concerns that Dr. McClurken had regarding maps and timelines, but also our alternatives if the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center does not let us digitize the images that we would like to reproduce. The CRHC has an incredible array of sources that have been useful to us so far in our research, but unfortunately they are pretty strict about their policies and so we are trying to figure out a) how to convince them to let us digitize the material since our work isn’t going towards a profit and b) what we will do if they do not let us digitize the material. We have emailed the CRHC, and Dr. McClurken has been in contact with a representative of the NPS who has in turn contacted someone on the board the CRHC. Hopefully this contact will yield favorable results so that we can use what we have found, especially since not much of our total images and sources come from the center. If we are unable to use any of the materials from the CRHC, we will be “uncomfortable but not paralyzed” as Dr. McClurken would say. Although we would definitely be bummed out, we would still be able to use the information that we gathered from the Eastburn Diaries to put together a timeline, and if we cannot use any pictures of the Knox family then we will just go downtown and take a picture of the family house that is currently the Kenmore Inn. So even though the results might not be what we most desire, we will still be successful in accomplishing our goals!
All in all, this week wasn’t so much about research as it was planning, organizing, and problem-solving. Our group will reconvene this upcoming Tuesday after we do some individual work so that we can decide what we want to do for both our site and the Century America website. Here’s to a productive week ahead!