The Digital Web: Week 4

The below sites are listed in chronological order (which i switched a second guessed many times):

1.  Romantic Circles is very basic HTML page with lost of texts and links.  There are a few pop-ups, a search function, and even a link to Twitter (capitalizing on social networking).  There are few images with a lot of text that I did not read so I cannot really tell you what the site is about.  Being a scholarly work it provides a lot of useful information, but little in the way of engaging the viewer.  I think this site would be a great reference resource for those that study literature.

2. Amiens Cathedral Project is just images with captions.  I am not sure what the point of the site is.  It is great if you are looking for a particular image of the cathedral.  Perhaps if I were a student of architecture I would have a greater appreciation for this site.

3.  The Avalon Project is one of my favorite sites from the list provided.  I generally do a Google search for a paper by name.  The Avalon Project has a vast array of historical documents at my fingertips; categorized in an easy to navigate system that separates each paper by century.  I found myself thoroughly distracted by reading papers on the site versus reading the assignment for the week.  This site can also be considered a trustworthy source as Yale carries with it a reputable name of a well-established university.  If the intent of this site was to provide accessibility to historical documents, the creators accomplished their objective.

4.  The Valley of the Shadow separates the war into three categories: The eve of war, the war years, and the aftermath.  It takes newspaper article and letters and diaries of soldiers to capture the sentiment of people who lived it.  The setup is unique in the sense that each link is separated into different rooms.  It is not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing, and I am not sure exactly what the creator’s intent was with that particular type of design.  I love the interactivity of the battle maps as it follows the battles that soldiers from PA and VA took during the war. I think each piece of information evaluated on its in deserves merit, however, I do not think that the information ties together in a very succinct matter.  The navigation requires going back and forth between categories, and the search functions require you to know names of individuals to find particular images.

5.  I quickly browsed the Dickinson Electronic Archive.  I am not sure if the point of the site is to speak to Emily Dickinson relationship with the other woman in the daguerreotype, or the changing faces as depicted through photo imaging process, or as the first sentenced said just to grant a different perspective or different take on Emily Dickinson other than how she has been portrayed.

6. The home page of Hawthorne in Salem is very basic, but I really like the timeline with the picture displayed in the background and realized there are videos as well.  I think this site accurately projects the life of Nathaniel Hawthorne in Salem as the title suggests.

7.  I have often found myself questioning the comprehensiveness of the Library of Congresses website.  Having the great fortune of living in the Washington, DC area i wonder if it is more advantageous for me to go to the Library of Congress (an opportunity i need to take more advantage of) or browse the website.  I had not stumbled upon the American Memory portion of the Library of Congresses site before this class.  With over 8 million items it is hard to imagine that a document i wish to access not being present online.  I plan to explore the map section in detail at a later date.  The sites categories are very intuitive to navigate.  However, it may not be any less cumbersome than turning pages manually at the reading from this week’s assignment suggests.  It still requires accessing the correct link and reading numerous pages of documents to find what one is looking for.  The Library of Congress will always be the premiere source for primary source information.  Considering the Library of Congress was one of the early pioneers of capturing information on a CD Rom, I imagine they were among the first to harness the power of the internet to share information.

8.  I was disappointed by the Persepolis: A Virtual Reconstruction site.  There was not much in the way if anything besides links to images (granted 3-D images) that only enlarge when you click on them.  The site lacks a good narrative.  I am not sure what the purpose is behind this project.

9. The Oyez Project contains a wealth of information as it pertains to Supreme Court cases.  A great reference point for law students no doubt.  The incorporation of YouTube videos provide informative, lecture style teachings.  The search function works great.  A person coming to this site would know what specific these they are researching and would be able to find written briefs and can even listen to audio.  If I were going to law school this page would be listed as favorites under my links.

10. The April 16 Archive looks like a blog.  The only reason I rank it higher is because I know the date the VT event occurred – it is the title of the page.  The page looks to me like a collection of items one would find stored away in a cold case file.  Items are collected, labeled, and categorized in detail and put away to revisit later.  I know the intent is the share memories, and the site is used as an outlet for people to express themselves.  To that degree, the creator’s intent in making the site is met.

11.  The Digital Karnak site is very impressive.  The features the Digital Karnak site offers interests me in particular because of the Goggle Earth 3-D mapping and the interactive Timemap (though i feel it lacking in displaying the additions to the building displayed).  I see the source for this information is the University of California.  Who to credit this site to i am not certain because all the information is in French.

12.  I love how the Lascaux takes the viewer on a journey through the caves using video and graphics (even including sound).  I felt as though i was watching the History Channel or National Geographic without a narrator.

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Digital History Center

I could spend hours upon hours exploring the different projects and resources each Digital History site offers.  At the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities page i scrolled over the projects and discovered the Digital Montpelier Project.  I was drawn to that project for a couple of reasons.  One, i just visited Montpelier in June, and two, i love how the houses transformation is displayed.  It was actually going to Montpelier that initially got me interested in going back to school to take courses in history, and, in particular, historical preservation.  I think the Montpelier Project could have added more pictures of the reconstruction of Montpelier, as they restored it to its original, Madison time version.  I also do not particularly like the images link on the Montpelier Project page.  I searched the year 1812, and typed in the keyword ‘reconstruction.’  The search returned five images.  What keywords would a person have to type to return additional images?  I like that they detail the investigation, and i wish i had more time to go through the whole page.

The Center for History and New Media provides a lot of useful links.  The plethora of links is a little overwhelming, which i find to be true of most of the pages.  The research tools in particular provide a great source for tools develop to assist in creating projects and websites.  That will definitely come in handy.

I Digital Scholarship Lab grabbed me right off the bat.  The page is visually appealing and easy to navigate.  I am going to delve further into the Voting America Project, as that project is right along the lines of a webpage i have envisioned.

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