Considering the nature of this class, I have always wondered whether Dr. McClurken enjoyed pain or was just crazy. In either case, I think each and every one of us in this class owes him a great deal of gratitude in his quest and the realization of bringing Digital History to UMW. Besides if it were not for his efforts, we wouldn’t have anything to complain about. No really, I think that the complaints I hear are a result of each and every one of us being challenged in some way. I wish my experiences in this class were different, but it was not a reflection of Dr. McClurken’s efforts. I have been given an opportunity to consider history in an entirely different way, and it is my goal to pursue this avenue further. Thank you Dr. McClurken!
Well…I think that we made it. I left Monroe last night around 9:30 and saw Roxanne was still there. Kelly and I were IM’ing, so I didn’t feel totally alone in a room that started to feel like a closet. The scan images on the JM website were hard to proof from, so I had to access the images on the computer in the history office. Came home, proofed website, emailed Kelly what felt like 100 times, crashed, woke up and reviewed the site some more. Oh, and I remembered to blog.
For today’s assignment I chose to mention the “Historical Profession and Archival Education” article. The article states that there has been shift in archive employees possessing a Masters in Library Science from the once traditional Masters in History. Several reasons stand out, but what is worth noting is that the schools offering library science programs have made a bigger commitment to archival education. University of Maryland seems to have taken it a step further by offering a Masters in History & Library Science (HiLS).
Well we are in the homestretch. The official website has all of the components that were provided by Dr. Preston. There are some bios that were not received, which are noted on the JMPW work breakdown. Other than some minor adjusting, this website is complete. I need to confirm the availability of our group, but it looks as though Dr. Preston is available to meet with us on Wednesday at 4 p.m. He will review the official website and offer us his expertise in regard to the transcription and presentation of the Ministry of France dispatch images.
I have forwarded images to Talya for the slideshow, but I still have a number of images outstanding. I am still waiting for an image of Monroe’s desk that will be provided by the JM Museum and the music that will be used with the slideshow.
I have already transcribed Dispatch No. 1 (17 images), which amounted to five and a half pages (single spaced).
I’ve got several pages of the JM Ministry of France index on google docs. I should have this completed this week.
Well it is finally Spring and Easter is this weekend, where has the time gone… We only have several weeks left in this semester, and there is still a great deal of work to do.
The official JMP Website is nearly there. Outstanding items are:
- Three booklets listed under Recommended Reading move to Publication section.
- I have to submit Bibliography, which is based upon Prof. Preston’s list, to Kelly
- Need to clean up some images in Photo shop, which are to be used on the Biography and Contact pages.
The second website is starting to take form. Talya has got the skeleton up and presented a multi-media slideshow (not sure if this is correct terminology) using a number of photos I provided and set it to music. I have a number of other images that need to be cleaned up in photoshop. I have images of envelopes addressed to James Monroe that address him by different titles (governor, president, etc.) that can be used within the slideshow to accentuate the chronology. I am also looking into the use of the Music of Monroe’s Era for this slideshow.
According to Kelly’s blog, the scanning is now complete. I will be going in today and will index the images on the film. I will also batch about a quarter of the scans to convert from tiff to jpeg in photoshop. If all goes well, Talya will have her first batch to drop into Omeka next Tuesday.
On behalf of the group, I scheduled a meeting with Prof. Preston on Wednesday, March 26th at 4 p.m. We will be presenting the official website to him for his review. Prof. Preston will also provide his expertise to the group on the subject of transcription and will offer suggestions on formatting and presentation of the Monroe scans to the public. Each member of the group will take one letter and transcribe it to the standard set by Prof. Preston. I am hoping to have a parchment background for these transcriptions.
Well…since my last post the group met with Dr. Stanton for a tutorial in scanning. I’ve scanned both for the park service (from hardcopy) and for the library (from microfilm), but the machine at UMW is far superior. The microfilm covering the period of time that Monroe served as minister of France has over 400 images, which divides to just over a 100 pages per person. Considering how quick the scanner works, it should not take l0ng for each member of the group to complete the pages allotted to them. All images will be temporarily stored to the hard drive until another location has been approved for storage.
We had our long presentation on Thursday, and I feel that we haven’t progressed as quickly as the other groups. The official website, JMPW, has been taken as far as we can at this time, but it is not complete. Prof. Preston has a number of items that are still outstanding. We have committed to having the JMPW up and running by March 18th.
This week I have forwarded Kelly the two outstanding links and an updated image for the Illustrated History. My objective is to have all “Related Publications” and “Bibliography” items identified on JMPW work breakdown resolved and forwarded to Kelly by next week. This should leave only the portraits and bios outstanding. I also requested additional images from Prof. Preston to enhance the appearance of his website. He is going to review his holdings and then forward them; a number of them will have to be cleaned up or modified in Photoshop before they can used. I think that it is still feasible for the group to make the March 18th deadline.
- Meeting with Jerry on 2/18-Contribute tutorial-Kelly will construct and input all data on the official website.
- Meeting with Prof. Preston on Tuesday to discuss content and format of the official website. Kelly was able to get a skeleton in place for his review.
- Completed homepage image-sent to Kelly
- JM Group meeting cancelled on Wednesday.
- Project Presentations on Thursday-JM Group had 3-5 min. presentation, which included JMPW skeleton and the second sites flow chart that Andrea put together-Talya and Kelly presented. The two 15 min. presentations-Alumni and Marker projects-both groups seemed organized and made good presentations of their project-they seem to have delegated specific tasks to each group member.
- Created JMP Vol. 3 image and modified the Illustrated History image (image provided washes out when placed on website page)-forwarded copy of images to Preston for review-upon approval send to Kelly
- Update JMPW work breakdown to reflect all structure changes, receipt of documents, images and links, and outstanding items. Follow-up correspondence is also noted on this document.
- Kelly is trying to schedule scanning training sessions with Prof. Stanton.
One week until Spring break…I hope that we can get the scanning task completed.
I decided to look at Slave Codes and the Nat Turner articles in Wikipedia. I had written a paper on the relationship between a particular law and the insurrection of 1831 by Nat Turner and thought that my previous knowledge of the topic would assist me in evaluating the Wiki site. The Slave Code section was minimal, and referenced a link that I questioned the credibility. In fact, there was an editor’s note that a citation was needed for one of the statements.
Nat Turner provided a number of basic facts, but there was a section in the article that the editor questioned the creditability and placed the notation “citation needed.” Based upon my prior knowledge, the editor action was appropriate.
Moving into the sixth week…we have a busy schedule.
The group has updated and changed the project contract, and it should be sent to Dr. McClurken tonight. Dr. Preston has provided us with an outline to the JWPW (1st site), and I adjusted the language in the contract to reflect this outline. It appears as though most, if not all, of the documents for the first site is provided by Dr. Preston. I am working on the homepage image: the James Monroe Paper book image, minus the editor info, which I am superimposing onto a Monroe letter.
The James Monroe Paper Website link has been set up, and we each should have received a Contribute Key. The group has their tutorial with Jerry tomorrow at 2 p.m. I am hoping that we can get the basic structure of the site into place tomorrow.
We have a meeting with Dr. Preston on Tuesday to go over the format of the website. I hoping that we have something to shown him online.
Andrea and Kelly put the finishing touches on the contract last night and sent notification to Dr. McClurken. I think we are on the right track in our approach, but need to become more definitive on the second site. I think inspiration and clarity will come once the group starts working with the programs and documents.
I’ve already addressed the items in the contract for the JMPW section that Dr. McClurken highlighted with questions and added a reference to the use of work breakdown structures, one for each site, as a tool to status our projects rather than emailing. In this way all the answers to action items are located within one document and facilitates our weekly presentations. I finished construction of the JMPW work breakdown structure today and have started making updates to it.
Emailed Jerry and asked if Simile could be used with Contribute, and his response was he didn’t know if they could be used together. We may have to change our approach to constructing our timeline. Waiting for confirmation of date and time for Contribute group tutorial with Jerry.
An email was written to Dr. Preston today requesting clarification of responsibility for specific items. This email also requested the images and documents that he specified for the JMPW. Upon receipt of these items they will be stored in an Omeka file until they are ready to be used.