This semester has definitely been an unconventional one. I started this semester on an airplane in the middle of the Ocean traveling back from a winter faculty-led study abroad. While that experience was wonderful the transition to being back in school was a difficult one. However, I managed to make it through the first month and finally felt ready to take on the semester. I was really excited about this course Adventures in Digital History because it seemed really interesting and I was really excited to create a group project.
In the weeks leading up to spring break my group, the James Farmer at Mary Washington group, finalized our contract. In this contract, we had decided what each person’s role was going to be. My role was going to be to collect, digitize, and create an exhibit around the awards that James Farmer received while he was a visiting professor at Mary Washington. My plan was to start this process the week after spring break. While I managed to start the process I quickly realized that it was going to be that I was not going to be able to finish because in-person classes were canceled until the beginning of April and then canceled for the rest of the semester. This resulted in major changes to my part of the project, Kim’s role in conducting the Oral Histories, and the software that my group planned on using at school. With all these challenges towards the end of March, my group still managed to come together and create a project that I believe is better than what we originally envisioned. For the remainder of this blog post, I am going to defend my group’s project as contracted.
When looking at our mission statement, I firmly believe that we met our main goal which was to highlight James Farmer’s educational legacy at the University of Mary Washington through the gathering of various classroom-related materials related to his years. If you were to go to our website and look under Browse Collections and then look at Dr. Farmer in the Classroom, you would see our classroom-related materials. Another part of our contract that my group successfully completed was we conducted oral histories that can be found under our Oral Histories collection. In addition to that Katia still managed to transcribe and caption video materials of Dr. Farmer lecturing that we received from Special Collections and University Archives. These items can be found in our Lectures collection. Another part of the project that we managed to do was to compile other projects UMW students created on Dr. Farmer. These items are housed in our Additional Resources collection.
By having these collections we were able to create three different exhibits that are designed to capture the attention and educate former, current, and future UMW students about the importance of Farmer to our campus and school legacy. The exhibit on Farmer in the Classroom specifically focuses on Dr. Farmer’s importance to our campus. In addition, the Farmer Timeline: The Mary Washington Years also contributes to this effort as well. The legacy aspect of Dr. Farmer comes into play when looking at the exhibit space titled Farmer’s Legacy at UMW.
Based on all this information I firmly believe that we met our project goals. For more information about our website and how to navigate it click on the image below to be taken to our presentation video that highlights our project. I hope that this project will serve our campus community for a long time and will remind our campus community of the important role Dr. Farmer played during his years at Mary Washington College.
Alright, I was able to deliver on what I said in my previous blog post! I believe that I have finished uploading all the materials and metadata that I was “tasked” with doing. I worked really hard on it today to complete the metadata that I needed today. The only other thing that I would like to add is Professor Devlin’s Introduction to Public History class’s takeaway cards. At this time I have reached out to her and I am waiting for a reply. Below is my takeaway card that I created for her class that I hope to be able to upload with her permission.
Hopefully, by Thursday we have everything uploaded so that we can start to develop our “exhibit” tab. With about two weeks left in the semester, I am confident that we will be done with our project sometime next week. I believe that the next part of this week involves our meeting with Dr. McClurken on Thursday and talking about what exactly we are doing for our exhibit.
This week I have been working really hard to upload material onto our Omeka site! I think I am almost done and it will be something that I will complete this weekend! For now, check out James Farmer in MWC Alumnae News!
Last week I made a blog post called “Tips on How to Build a Digital Identity” and that blog post was created based on various websites that Dr. McClurken had us look at. These websites were very helpful when I was editing my digital portfolio. Click the image below to view my digital portfolio.
In my opinion, in the last three weeks the James Farmer group has made some serious progress on our project considering the obstacles that we have faced. As I have mentioned before my role in our project is to collect materials related to Dr. Farmer in the classroom and the other sources found on the digital collection. As of right, I have several items uploaded, but still, need to do the metadata for them. A concern that I had last week was trying to figure out how to fill the different metadata fields. While my group met Angie before school closed, I still wanted to consult with her. By consulting with Angie this week I was able to ensure that the different fields would be filled out properly.
On Monday, I had a zoom call with Angie where we discussed how our group should proceed when filling out the metadata. Here is an image of how each field should be filled out in Dublin Core on Omeka.
In addition, one of the group’s concerns was trying to figure out how we were going to tag our materials. From talking with Angie, we determined that we should have a google document with our tags. Angie said that this was the best thing to do to prevent our tag from looking like the image below because then a tag page becomes completely useless.
Hopefully, by next week I will have all of my resources updated with the appropriate metadata in order to start the process of creating an exhibit based on our materials! When our project is complete I foresee it looking like HISP 303: Archives and Society Website!