For this review, I decided to look at sites that have similar goals as my group does!
From the first list, I looked at https://civilwaronthewesternborder.org created in 2014
My first impressions of this site are that I like the blend of colors. The red and blue are dark which contrast the white lettering on it. I realized that the colors are those that make up the American flag which fits the overall theme of this website. Another aspect that I found useful was the mission and vision statements. I feel like they were very clear and that I was able to measure if they succeeded in their goals based on those statements.
I then went to the timeline and saw that it has some neat features such as filters, embedded links, and additional snippets of information if you click on them. I then looked at the maps section and found that it was very similar to that timeline as it has a filter and embedded links that will take you to other pages on the site. The lesson plans section was also neat, although this is probably something that we will not pursue.
It is very organized and uses a multitude of primary and secondary sources including images, scholarly essays with each having its tab on the menu on the home page. Most, if not, all of the site is functional and I did not see any signs of “wear and tear” on the site page.
The first site from the second list is https://davisdiaries.villanova.edu
I chose this one since it was relatively similar to what our project entails. At a first glance, this site does look a bit older than the previous one and it is in fact from 2012. A few things that I liked were the keywords at the bottom with the bigger ones appearing more. The color choices also coincided with the main primary source, the diary, and its page color which added to a rustic atmosphere. While I think that they did a great job of transcribing every single diary entry, the site does not seem too user-friendly. I find the top menu which just includes numbers to be a bit daunting and every time I clicked the button to go to the next entry it would show what looks like to be some things that were meant to be kept behind the scenes. The thing that threw me the most off is the top menu which has options to go to other sites. It is odd since they take you directly to Villanova University’s library page which is extremely different from the Davis diaries page.
The second site from this list I chose is https://valley.lib.virginia.edu
I remember hearing this reference during last class so I thought that I should give it a read. It seems like support for the site ended around 2007, and I can see how some of this site may seem antiquated. Some portions lead to nowhere and even some of the primary sources are not very accessible at all. I found some of their maps a bit hard to read and would require some additional explanation or just for them to be a bit bigger. Other than that, there is a plethora of information coming from different types of primary sources ranging from maps, pictures, government records, and newspapers. The display can be a bit scary since the ain page has links that are organized into what seems to be an overhead view of a building. These links then lead to very barebone search pages which were still mostly functional. I feel like there is a lot of information here which is something that I want to have on my site, but I also see how there needs to be an effort to keep things functional and accessible to others. I also hope to avoid having this barebones look, since I want our site to feel alive!
The last site I chose was https://slavery.virginia.edu/memorial-for-enslaved-laborers/
This last site is different than the others since it served as a proposal for the UVA slavery memorial project. This site was created back in 2013 and I checked and the memorial is standing there right now. What was most surprising was how the site was still well maintained and regularly updated! Many links included more information on the broader aspects of the importance of this project. The site was relatively simple yet it carried much historical value through the use of images and videos to understand the importance of recognizing slavery in their college’s history. Overall I like the amount of space dedicated to ways that the audience can find more information. The site itself also emitted this aura of importance since it included many other links to key institutions which helped and are a part of their effort.
The first site that I chose to explore was https://newroots.lib.unc.edu
What I found most attractive about this site was how it could be instantly translated into Spanish. Not only does this benefit many Spanish-speaking scholars, but it also helps a large portion of Hispanic people who either cannot read in English or lack the digital literacy to use other services to translate the page. Instead, there is a giant button in the middle of the page that translates the page fully. After reading the selected chapters from the digital history book and from my experience online, I have come to appreciate the value of accessibility of websites. Apart from that it is very well organized, it has many qualities that are mentioned in the book such as XML search, good fonts, a good mixture of colors, and a plethora of different types of media including videos and audio recordings that span from 10 minutes to over an hour. I found that I had an easy time navigating the site and it made me interested in the material that was there.
The second site I chose was https://digitalarchives.sjc.edu
I chose this one because it was an archive of digitalized images which is similar to what I and my group will be doing over the course of the semester.
The most interesting aspect of this site was the organization. It has much information not only on the content of the artifact but where it came from, its source type, its citation, etc. The site was also remarkably simple, it had a menu bar and an XML search box, but apart from that, there was not too much else on it which made it less cluttered than many other sites. The menu leads to all of the relevant sections that one would want to go to, which helped in the navigation of the site overall.
I feel like both sites have certain aspects that I like and that I found in the book too. I hope to continue doing some research on ways that I can contribute to the brainstorming for our scrapbook site!
I am taking this class because it really caught my eye last semester. I have always been interested in history so the opportunity to work on projects where can digitize them and make them more accessible and interactive for others really pulled me in.
Digital History is the use of digital tools to further interactivity with an ever-growing audience, essentially it is rejuvenating history that has been previously recorded in a static medium.
Digital Humanities is what the previous term falls under. It follows the same definition as DIgital History but it encapsulates more areas of the humanities.
They are different because the former is a bit more constrained to areas of history, while the latter has more freedom in where the information can go.