Week 15: Final Project

Gathering all the photo’s for my final project was a bit more of a challenge than i had originally calculated it to be.  I reached out the Historical Society of Washington DC to determine if there was a time outside their normal hours i could pay a visit.  The library is only open on Monday’s by appointment from 10:00am to 4:00pm and on Wednesday the library is open to the public also from 10:00am to 4:00pm.  Via email one of the librarians politely told me they were only available during the regularly scheduled hours listed on their website and directed me to their online catalog.  Unfortunately, that posed a problem for me because i work during those hours.  Then last weekend a email was sent it saying the Historical Society would be open on Saturday for a special hours for those wishing to do research. I immediately contacted the Library, however, by the time i contacted them they were all booked up.

The Historical Societies online catalog did prove to be quite useful, but i missed out on other prints and negatives but not being able to go directly to the library to search through their over 700 negatives on file.

Early on i discovered that the Department of Veterans Affairs has a historian.  I reached out to the VA’s historian who was kind enough to supply me with a two page excerpt on the history of the VA and some photo’s of the Department’s construction.

I also made the trek over to the DC Public Library for a library card to receive access to search their online catalog and information housed in the library itself.

I even paid a visit to the Decatur House and bought a book, “The History of Madison Place Lafayette Square.”

All of these resources coupled together proved useful in gathering the information i needed to successfully complete my project.

There is so much more material out there and several other books i am interested in buying to further expand upon the small block i used to form my research project.  There is a ton of information about Lafayette Square.  Most of that information is on the houses and businesses that make of Madison and Jackson Place.  There is even a lot about the Hay-Adams Hotel and St. John’s Church, but only small bits and pieces about the VA and Arlington Hotel.  That is the nexus behind my choosing to concentrate on that particular block.

Originally, when beginning this class, i had a broader reasoning behind taking this course.  This course has provided me with an overwhelming amount of tools i can use to harness the creation of a website for digitizing history.  I need only to improve my technical skills to better create my broader idea of displaying the transformations of entire cities, which of course start block by block.  Perhaps my next course at NOVA will be web design class.

For now i used Professor Evans suggestion earlier in the course and simply use my blog as the place to house my final project versus a web builder website.  Ideally i would really like to learn how to harness Dreamweaver.  The blog is a little limited when it come to creativity.  I generally write up all my work in a word document prior to posting it online.  I ran into a bit of a snafu when pasting my project from word.  The pictures did not upload.  There is a separate media dial button of Word Press for uploading media files like pictures.  Fortunately i had all the photo’s in a file i could pull from and simply upload them into the media file and them insert them where i wanted into my blog.  There were still spacing limitations and i cannot re-size the fonts in the blog, which was slightly frustrating.  Overall i am very happy with the outcome.  Once i learn Dreamweaver and harness some of the newer 3D modeling stuff that is starting to come out, i can delve into a larger scale project and expand upon the beginnings of which started with the final project on the Word Press blog.  Now the only problem will be finding the time.  If only this could be my full-time job 🙂

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2 Responses to Week 15: Final Project

  1. Charles Evans says:

    Amber. You really want to take Julia Turner’s design classes on Dreamweaver and web design. She may not be teaching this spring because she is acting dean at Loudoun, but she should be teaching again in the summer. She also has her course videos on ItunesU for NVCC. They are really helpful. CTE

  2. CTEvans says:

    You might also want, at some time, to check out the photo holdings at the Library of Congress over in Maryland. It is not that far away (just 30 minutes around the beltway), and there is a lot of material. The difficulty is finding that material, since the finding aids are often not that great, and the images can turn up in all kinds of different collections, but the reference librarians are very helpful.

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