Progress Report (3/23/20)

For our progress report, my group has decided to divide our individual blog posts into five topics: Piper is focusing on online communication, Glynnis has captioning, Erin is handling scheduling, Emily is writing about research, and I’m doing mine on our use of tiff files.

On our site, we will feature galleries of pngs of our scans for basic usage and viewing. Below them, we will include multiple zip files that contain our tiffs. We plan on including those for research purposes, as tiffs are used for preservation-grade file-keeping. We currently have them saved onto two flash drives that I have in my possession, since fortunately, Glynnis, Piper, and I were able to work with Angie to organize them and finalize our work in the DAL before we left the school for the semester. We also have copies of those tiffs saved in a zip file on my laptop, though the zip file size is too big to include on our wordpress site; as a result, we will have to break the zip down into smaller files. We could do that either by focus, by original box number, or by artifact, but that is up to the group to decide. Another option could be to store the zip file on dropbox and simply provide a link on our WordPress site.

Scrapbook Digitization Update (3/17/20)

College has gone online for the rest of the semester, but my group is still holding up. Thankfully, we’ve finished our scans, converted them to .pngs, and we have the files in our possession. We plan to meet weekly over Zoom to work on our site and make sure our work is divided properly and is going smoothly; for now, we will probably focus on making our site more accessible. All we have left to do is digital, so we should be able to continue operations fairly normally. In our meeting tomorrow, we plan on working on revising our contract and captioning our images. At this point, I also need to focus on building our twitter bot.

Scrapbook Digitization Update (3/12/20)

Our group has finished all of our scans, converted our .tiffs to .pngs, and began working on our website. At this point, not all of our files are in the same place, so we need to make sure that they are together moving forward. We have finished a lot of the design aspect of our site as well, so we have the visuals figured out; as of now, it’s just a matter of moving our files to the site, crafting a narrative, and ensuring accessibility. Thankfully, these are things that we can do mostly online, as our school has been completely moved online due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Hopefully this won’t make completing our project more difficult. We will continue to communicate and craft our site, scheduling regular meeting times.

Creative Commons Blog Assignment

When looking through Wikipedia history and discussion pages, I noticed that there were lots of updates to each page that followed reader-suggested and fact-checked revisions. I began by looking at the “Cleopatra” page; since she is a history figure that has made her way into pop culture, there are a large number of revisions (over 500!) present on her history page. I also looked at a more niche page, (the one for the “Studio Killers” (band)) for comparison. This one only has nine revisions and one discussion point, but functions in the same way. A number, highlighted in either red or green in each revision description, lists trends in page views. Each revision can be selected, and the link brings readers to the point in the discussion board where the changes made were originally suggested. The discussion board emphasizes that it is not a forum and that it should only be used for suggestions for improvement. Different versions of each page can be compared, as well, through the history tab.

Since Digital Humanities, as a field, is meant to make historical resources easily accessible to a wide audience, I believe that our site should be available to use and re-use for free. The Creative Commons Attribute Share-Alike (CC BY-SA) License seems to be the best fit for our site, as it allows for wider information distribution and does not restrict users depending on whether they may profit on the information or not. I do not mind others using our information for profit, as it still increases potential audience and can be used for educational purposes.

Scrapbook Digitization Update (2/14/20)

Since my last update, the group has created two inventories: one for items present in each box, and the other for the items we would specifically like to scan. We’ve met four times outside of class within the past week, though I have only been able to attend two of those meetings. This week has been incredibly productive.

Today, we met in the Digital Archiving Lab to start our scans. Angie taught us file naming protocol and how to use the scanners, and we were surprised to find that the Cobra camera takes only seconds to take pictures of each item; we were initially under the impression that it would take 4 minutes per scan. Though we set out to scan 15 items today, we managed to take care of twice as many within about an hour; this means that we will be able to scan much more than we had originally anticipated. We still have to convert each image to a .png file to store on our webpage, but we may end up doing that once we’ve finished all the scans we need.

Scrapbook Digitization Update (2/5/20)

This afternoon, Glynnis, Emily, and I met with Jeanette Cadwallender and Florence Barnick, the sisters who commissioned our project. We discussed our ideas with them, and they responded positively; they were excited that someone wanted to take over the project, as they had been the only ones working on it up until now. We were surprised to learn that the sisters had no idea that their mother had been keeping scrapbooks until they found them, and they were happy to know that they are being digitized for public use. We talked a bit about their family and their connection to Fredericksburg, and Florence and Jeanette emphasized that they would like a┬átheme of our site to be about the community impact of their mother’s volunteer work. They provided us with additional resources and told us to feel free to keep in touch; overall, the meeting was a great experience, and I look forward to continuing to work with the sisters.

Website Review (1/29/20)

For this review, I looked at the sites “American Archive of Public Broadcasting,” “Fold3” (formerly known as “footnote.com”), “Photogrammar,” “JSTOR,” and “Internet Archive”. These five databases seem to be a bit more on the professional side than sites we’ve looked at in class up to this point, and they include a much larger variety of information than would be expected from a college- or university-based site. This is likely because many of these websites allow users to upload their own pieces of digital history for public use.

I was impressed by the “American Archive of Public Broadcasting,” “Fold3,” “Internet Archive,” and “JSTOR”. The first of the four, “American Archive,” is a site run by the Library of Congress and WGBH Radio and is home to over 7,000 radio and TV episodes from America’s history. It is fairly easy to navigate, though the episode titles are somewhat confusing; the simple and clean design of the website, as well as the content, however, make up for this flaw. To test the site, I listened to a bit of “War of the Worlds,” and found myself in awe of the fact that I could access it so immediately.

“Fold3” is an ancestry.com site through which subscribers are able to browse historical records such as census data or military documents. The site is aesthetically pleasing and seems to be well-maintained; the only issue I found with this database is that a paid subscription is required in order to view its documents. This, I believe, goes against the point of digital humanities, as the field aims to make artifacts easier to access, but Fold3.com does not.

I must admit that I am biased when it comes to “Internet Archive,” because I use it all the time. It’s a nonprofit site that hosts historical videos, audio clips, and images, and it works in conjunction with the Wayback Machine, an archive of since-removed web pages. Everything is free to download; in my experience, the only thing to make sure to do when using “Internet Archive” is to search using very specific terms and filters.

I have used “JSTOR” quite a few times as well, and I have found it to be most useful for finding high-resolution digital photographs of art pieces and historical documents in PDF form. It is a database that includes a vast amount of sources and information; there is not much I am unimpressed with when it comes to JSTOR, as it is easily navigable, accessible, and is provided through UMW, (and likely many other colleges).

“Photogrammar,” I found to be interesting in topic and easy to use, though I felt it lacked information. While the other sites I looked at included pictures, audio, video, documents, art, and more, “Photogrammar” specializes only in American photographs dating from 1935 to 1945. The system the site uses for its map is very simple, so I believe the site could expand, eventually.

Scrapbook Digitization Team Video

This video, overall, took about an hour to make. We recorded for 10-20 seconds each, filmed some B-roll, and made a quick intro. We then edited the video by splicing each clip together on Final Cut Pro and adding text over the film. We posted the video on YouTube, and after filling in the details, it was ready to watch. Videos may or may not be useful in our project; it could be helpful to interview Jeanette and Florence Rowe about their mother, but other than that, videos may be extraneous.