Archive for January, 2012

Zotero, Omeka, and a Lack of Creativity

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I’m afraid I fail the “think creatively” exercise for this week. Zotero, RSS feeds, and Omeka all appear one-dimensional to me and only fulfill the purposes outlined in the presentation. I also have a vendetta against Zotero for causing me a great deal of anguish during my senior thesis research, wasting my time on more than one occasion. That could have been because it requires Firefox and I dislike that service. On a positive note, I have discovered Google Reader to be just simple enough to appeal to a technologically-stunted person like myself. I’ve actually added some personal sites to it and I’ve been delighted with its organized manner. As for blogs, I’ve recently been toying with one based of off umwblogs for personal use, since I fancy the idea of having my completed senior thesis available for people to search and find with Google. In hindsight, it might have been useful to have a blog about it while I was actually writing the darn thing.

Regarding the websites, I liked the thumbnail organization of the Famous Trials site, but I wish they would made it appear less stark. The Southern History Database was a train wreck, with most of the links not working. It was way too plain and had a system that showed they really meant to be helpful, which only made their failure in that regard more pitiable. The French Revolution site was on of the better examples I viewed and would have been ideal if the proportions had been right, instead of only taking up a quarter of the screen. UVA’s Civil War site was probably the best overall, for content and organization. The floor map they used seemed like something our group was hoping to do for the buildings site.

For the actual project, I’ve encountered difficulties getting into the Media Lab Dr. McClurken mentioned. Yes, I recall he said we shouldn’t try getting in for a couple weeks, but I had to try anyway. A friend of mine said she could get in, so I thought it had been fixed, but it appears to just work for a few people. For group delegation, I’m currently focused on biographies for the people the campus buildings are named for, which is more challenging than I would have thought. There are many people with the same name in the school’s history and I can’t always be certain which is the correct figure. For a couple of the academic buildings, I’ve had success emailing professors from other departments and many of them knew whom they’d been named for.

Just Another Introduction

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

[insert cliche greeting here]

So, I’m Cammy, a senior History major (surprise!) and I’m in the UMW buildings group. The group projects were actually my main motivation for taking Digital History. Technology and I have a long history (pun intended) of distrust and lack of cooperation. I don’t have a Facebook page and pretty much just use my computer for Word, e-mail, research when the library falls short, and to feed my addiction to Minesweeper. In addition to my fascination with the buildings project, I figured during my last semester I just needed to suck it up and learn a thing or two about using digital media in combination with research. Who knows, I might have to use one of these new fangled computer things at a job in the future.

Our group is already making plans to meet with a Historic Preservation expert for leads on the UMW buildings. I’m currently trying to track down an official copy of the current “Master Plan” for campus renovation that is ongoing, believing that it is necessary to not only include the history of the buildings, but their fate as well.