Digital History Final Reflection

            Our project took its time to come together. I found that this is because most of the initial work centered around digitizing the images and transcribing their associated text. We were able to get well ahead on the uploading which allowed us to start working on the site itself soon afterward. This is where we ran into some more issues since Omeka is a bit restrictive, especially if you do not how to code. However, looking back on it now, I see that we were able to make the best of our situation by tinkering with the site’s look and other options while also providing thorough explanations that compensate for some parts of the website that were not as accessible. 

            We stuck with the plan to use Omeka, and I found that most of the deviations from the original contract are a result of the realization that we cannot change certain things about the site due to our lack of experience with coding. One such example is the word cloud. Not only would that not fit with the rest of the site, but it would not want to work with Omeka’s already built-in tag search system.  That is why we tried to emphasize the “search by tag” feature in the guide tab. In terms of the rest of the tools, we were able to use them in the manner we planned on such as the StoryMap JS, exhibits, and collections, which each have their own tabs emphasizing their importance. We found that the “Big Picture” theme was not that accessible since the menu options were pretty hidden, therefore we changed it to the “seasons” theme. Unfortunately, this meant that the images in the collections were smaller and need to be individually clicked on to view them in a big size. Therefore, I made sure to include instructions in the guide tab. On the topic of tabs, we were able to create some more tabs which include the glossary, resources, and the guide tab. Additionally, we included some more exhibits in the biographies tab to make the site more cohesive. 

            As far as the schedule went, all the milestones and presentations contained most of what was planned for. Even if we did not have some portions ready for that day, we compensated by getting ahead in other sections. By the end of the semester, we were able to get nearly all of the agreed-upon parts of this project ready to go, with a few extra sections. The rules for the division of labor were also strongly adhered to, and we took into account our different schedules and the additional sections that we added throughout the semester. One final piece I want to mention is outreach, we primarily used our Instagram page for outreach, but I am finishing a flyer to put around campus to attract more users to the site. I found that we have given justice to our mission statement by emphasizing both the original images and words in them, while also shedding more light on those recurring people in the scrapbook through the use of Omeka’s various display features (collections and exhibits). 

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