Clay Shirky discussed the amateurization of professions such as journalists, photographers, and publishers that were previously defined by the community, the work, and also the scarcity of professionals in that field. Now that everyone can essentially write, photograph, and publish their materials online – breaking down the idea of who constitutes a professional. Is this something that is or will happen to historians?
If I add a document to my archive and do not make it viewable to the public, because I only want it viewable in an exhibit. I want to add the finding aid from the collection my scanned files are from, but I was thinking of making each page of the finding aid an item and create an exhibit for it but rename it to Finding Aid — instead of uploading a pdf and having a link. But I probably just need to play around with this.
I’m transcribing all of my items – which are handwritten original court documents from 1717 – to include on my site. I’m unsure if I should stick to the spelling used in the documents or if I should modernize it. I’m mostly asking this because the modernized spelling would help when visitors try to search the site or should I simply input the words exactly how they are to give a more accurate depiction of the sentence configuration and spelling of the early 18th century.
Also, due to damage to the documents over the years there are missing edges, sections, and corners. This has led to a loss of words and even entire paragraphs. How would I represent these missing sections? Is there a best practice or standard for transcription?
My project focuses on a 1717 piracy case of the Vice Admiralty Court of the Province of New York concerning the pirate Richard Caverley. The collection consists of depositions from witnesses, accomplices, and pirates.
I had some difficulty in distinguishing the Dublin Core elements “source” and “relation”. Both elements were described in Omeka as a related resource. Is source the physical collection the digitized item is a part of?
Are we just describing the digital version of our resources or should we include metadata for the physical object as well? Dublin Core has “type” and “format” elements – for type I put “text” and for format I put “image”, but noticed in the examples that you could also enter “physical object” for format. If we do describe the physical as well, how will that read to an audience, as the physical object’s metadata is not separated form the digital version’s metadata?
Also, is there a way to change the layout of the metadata pages? I have four pages for one item and it stacks the thumbnails on top of each other with the metadata below. It just looks a little strange.
I was interested in including a component to my site that would allow for zooming in on documents. Prof. French – when we last spoke you expressed that this may not be possible. Is there a way to get at the code of Omeka to test this out? Or will I run the risk of breaking my database if I tried to code on my own?
Steve Krug suggests to not overthink the design/layout of one’s website, to stick to formulas and conventions already established on the web, and to keep the site intuitive to keep visitors interested not frustrated. While I like and agree with his overall idea of not re-inventing the wheel, I felt that ultimately, as he was mostly addressing a commerical audience, his ideas on scarcity of content are not applicable to academic sites. Cohen and Rosenzweig suggest a middle ground between the word sparse Krug site and design heavy site of aesthetes – where a historian’s ideas be the focal point.
In Interchange: The Promise of Digital History the contributors discuss the power of museums to authenticate or validate the artifacts in their holdings – something that Taylor said could not occur online. They also talked about online exhibits and the need for them to embrace the nonlinear presentation of museums to encourage discovery. While the online exhibit is the next area for communicating and interacting with history, there seem to be limitations due to the conceptualization of a site as it is bound within a creator’s preception of history as a linear, controlled item. That said, even museum exhibits experience a type of control through signage and pathways, but these help contextualize a vistor’s experience and provides a richer understanding of the artifact’s history and significance. Online exhibits should not be entirely nebulous or free form to combat the criticism of being a “linear and controlled” medium, but rather should incorporate digital signposts and pathways to present integral information to documents and also allow for discovery.
This week’s readings and particulary Vaidhyanathan’s Copyright and Copywrongs looked at the discussion of an author’s originality and creativity rewarded by copyright, which initially was intended to allow the author/artist to reap financial rewards for a frame of time and provide incentive to create more works. Vaidhyanathan pointed out that many of these “original works” are derivatives or reconstitutions of public domain works or oral traditions that do not have credited authors. Corporations (Disney) and individuals (Mark Twain) make full use of these public domain materials and then block future artists/authors from benefiting from a balanced copyright law by lobbying for continued extensions to the copyright term. Copyright law turns into this strange concept that awards long term proprietary control over a work that itself was born out of the materials available in the public domain.