Digital History: Civil War Fredericksburg

Final Post

April 22nd, 2010 by Megan Mc · No Comments

When I signed up for Digital History, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was a little nervous over winter break as to what the class would bring and then the syllabus came out and sent me into a little panic mode. It seemed a bit daunting at first. I had signed up thinking to myself, “Oh I know a little bit of html I can do this.” Then groups were assigned and I did not really know anyone, that also worried me a bit. However, my group turned out to be pretty cool, there was some miscommunication with the first big thing, the contract, but we worked that out pretty quickly and communicated through e-mail and google documents more. As I stated in my post after that particular event I was just glad that it happened earlier on, on a part of the project where we had a revising period, rather than later on where it would affect our grade more.With our contract done our task was then to meet the deadlines.

I feel like we did this very well, we sometimes met the deadlines well in advance, especially when we had class time to work on the project. We really couldn’t do research then so we did some of the technical aspects like work on the timeline spreadsheet. Towards the end it got a little nerve wracking trying to put all the interpretations up. We also decided to have primary documents and we were assigned sections to upload and I had Sanitary Commission. There really weren’t that many word documents from John Hennessy’s files that he gave us so I was told to transcribe some of the googlebooks. I spent a good couple of hours doing that, only to find out one had already been transcribed by Hennessy in another folder in the files. That was a bit discouraging but I did manage to transcribe a few.

Our group we lucky that we got a really good map group to work with, and it helped that Lauren was friends with one of the mapmaking students so it was easy to keep tabs on how their work was going. They met the deadline well in advance, and when we asked them to change some of the things they were very quick at it and figured out exactly what we wanted. The technology department also helped us meet our deadlines. When it came time to put the timeline and maps on our website and we could not figure out how to get it up on the site and a quick e-mail to Patrick and he was willing to help and fast too.

About halfway through the semester my group grew to hate Omeka and wanted to change to wordpress after seeing the Mary Ball Washington group’s site. Omeka did not have the flexibility to make it look like a website that we wanted. However, we realized that since we were building an archive Omeka was the best for this because it allowed us to upload many documents and pictures that we wanted to show. Since this subject, according to John Hennessy, was not well studied we wanted to let others who were interested in the subject find what we had access to to make their own interpretations, along with our own interpretations.

It is amazing that just a couple months ago we were started this project and now we are finally done.

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