Reflection

In looking back at where I started my project with my group I could not be happier with the results. By taking a collection of 118 political cartoons that had no common theme to them and building a digital archive, we as a group made sense of the collection. With a collection that ranges nearly a century it was difficult to put these into set groups. I applaud our collaborative effort in this endeavor as we were able to group these cartoons into general categories.

In terms of whether we completed our contract, I feel that we did to the best of our abilities. Our contract was largely built on individual work as the collection was so large. When we subdivide the cartoons and we each got our own sections we each carried out our responsibilities. First, we uploaded all of the cartoons to the website and subsequently labeled them with the information provided by the museum. The next part of our task was more challenging as we had to research each of the individual cartoons and write content labels. Writing the content labels was one of the most challenging parts of the process for me as certain cartoons were filled with obscure references that required deep, hard finding evidence. The difficulties of the content labels at times lead us to not strictly adhere to the timeline of the contract, but we persevered.  In building the exhibits, while some an obviously better than others, the way we presented out material in different ways definitely fulfills the terms of our contract.

The skills I have gained from taking this course are ones that will undoubtedly serve me in my career after college. With substantial knowledge of how to use wordpress and omeka, I now find myself more comfortable with the idea of web design. Even though it wasn’t a lot of learning, but now I know a certain degree of html coding which is something I never thought I would learn. I do wish I could have learned more about plug-in and their complexities.

I would like to make a special not e and thank my group for all of the help they have given me over the course of the semester. They were very understanding of the fact that I was completing my 485 and my attention was at times divided between the two courses. I worked hard to make sure I was pulling my own weight for the project but appreciate the group for taking on some of the more difficult tasks.  Lastly I would like to thank Dr. McClurken for the opportunity to work on this project.

Project Update / Forming Digital Identity

In continuing to research FDR for my collection of comics there is little of anything new to report. I have been having some trouble finding certain information in regards to how FDR is portrayed in some of the comics. One comic in particular is quite puzzling where FDR is seen with riding a raft with a donkey with a sign pointing to “Jefferson Island”. I can’t seem to get a grasp on what the cartoon is portraying.

In regards to building you digital identity on the internet, I never really thought about it until the presentation we saw on Tuesday. I knew that it was a bad idea to have pictures and post that could show you in a negative life but I never thought of the extensiveness of what one google search could dig up.

 

Update

I was excited and nervous to get the process of building our website for the James Monroe Political cartoon collection going with uploading images for my assigned category of Franklin D. Roosevelt. I particularly enjoyed the process of editing the cartoons in order to make the image quality more clear than the original photograph.  To edit the pictures, I used Microsoft Picture Editor which I find out was very easy to use. I found that most pictures simply needed to have the contrast heightened so the image was much more distinct. Unfortunately, the easy part of this project is over as I need to begin my research pertaining to all of the different ways FDR is portrayed in the pictures.  But as always I am excited yet still nervous as the project moves forward.

Contract Revisions and Wikipedia

In undertaking the revision of our group contract I found the whole experience to be both satisfying and with little to no stress. I still have a little concern about the possible problems we could face as a group or individually that could delay the scheduled milestones we set forth as a group.

In examining a Wikipedia page I chose to look at a page about the Panic of 1819 which was the first financial crisis in America. I originally looked at this page to get a brief summary of the topic as it plays a certain role in my 485 thesis.  I found the page to contain a strong and concise summary of the event and left with a clear understand of what took place. What I particularly liked about the page was a link in the reference section that simple said “digital history” and it lead me to one of the example websites that Dr. McClurken showed us earlier in the year.

Contracts

I found the process of forming the group contract to be a very productive one. I enjoyed the collaborative process of sharing our personal vision for the site and what components and add-ons we want to feature. The only problem that I feel my group and I could run into is if we hit technological block on the way that prevent us from building our site as scheduled.  Hopefully none of these potential problems come up.

Digital History Introduction

Hello, my name is Andrew Becken and I am a senior history major. I am working as part of the Political Cartoons group. I chose to take this class because I thought it was the most appealing seminar to take this semester as I only had a vague idea of what the class would consist of with the title “Digital History”. I am looking forward to working on my group project after initially getting started on it last week. What I hope to gain from this is a strong sense of where digital history is as a field of study today and where it is going to be in the future. I also hope to gain a strong proficiency in the internet based tools we will be using over the course of the semester.