Fiasco of the Evening

In a brief lapse of exhaustion and technological failure, I accidentally interrupted Professor McClurken while editing my group’s contract for our project. Upon seeing revisions, I thought that I would take the time to correct my section. I did not notice, however, that he was still in the process of editing still. I saw a large block of purple highlight my section, and I dropped my mouse and almost my entire laptop. It was not a pleasant shock… but, thank the gods that it was quickly sorted out. First, I would like to apologize once more. Secondly, I would now like to get back to my usually sarcastic self and carry on with the weekly post.


Completed item: Contract (pending changes).

In the pipeline: The beginning of research and that good stuff.

Beginning phase: Website.

Not yet started: Sleep….


I’ll keep this one short and sweet so I can actually attempt to work on that last part, since I’ve been sick for the past week now. If I was previously given the choice of cake or death, it appears I didn’t hear the first option.


To those of you who want to know what being this sick is like, I’ll present it in a fashion that anyone can understand. This is not fun.

James Farmer Lectures – Progress Report

This past Thursday February 9th, my group and I decided it would be the perfect time to create our group contract that is due this Monday, February 13th. We discussed our mission statement, our objectives, how we decided to split up the work, and even created due dates so that we do not let ourselves get behind.

So far, we have decided to create a digital archive for thirteen lectures that James Farmer while he was at Mary Washington College. There are video as well as audio clips that we will upload and stream via SoundCloud and (hopefully!) Vimeo. We have a WordPress website already, in its early stages.

We have been using the help of Jim Groom and Tim O’Donnell to allow us to use their already digitized copies of the James Farmer Lectures. We have also been trying to get in touch with Vimeo to see if we will be able to use them as a video host. Although Mary Washington now has copyright for the videos, we were not the original creators, which may cause a problem with hosting a video on Vimeo. A local news station, WNVT-TV Channel 53, created the lecture videos and gave us the copyright. After WNVT-TV had merged into a DC news station they had lost track and had no records of even creating the video.

Overall, I think the objectives and goals of our project are very clear (which my group will elaborate on when the February 23rd presentations roll around.) I think my group members and I feel that this digital project is not only very interesting, but that we will be able to positively impact and reach to a broader community for all interested in James Farmers reflections and the Civil Rights Movement.

There and Back Again

View Larger Map


You may wonder what the significance of this map is in regard to this blog post. However, there is no real reason for posting this map in particular. It’s more important that you know what the starting and end points of this map are.

Starting location: The Shire

Ending location: Mordor

Manner of transportation: Walking

Yes, you have read that correctly: I have planned a journey from the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. While it may not look like the right place, I typed those two locations into the “Directions” search and got a walk through the lovely state of Washington. Upon pressing enter, I was graced with this lovely map above, as well as some words of warning…

Walking directions are in beta.
Use caution – One does not simply walk into Mordor.”

Shocked? A little. Giddy? Very much so. Had I not stumbled upon this story on the interwebz, I never would have attempted such a foolhardy venture. I mean, I don’t really want to go to Mordor… that place looks scary as hell in both the live action AND animated versions of the books.

I’m happy to say that Google Earth also shares Google Map’s sense of humor on this.

In regard to the use of either of these tools on my group’s project, I feel as though it would be rather self-explanatory. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see where each of the historical markers are in relation to one another?


P.S. – Not every path to Mordor is the same.

On to the actual post for the weekend.


For the actual post that answers the questions asked, this is the correct page. This is the serious post.

1)  Of all the tools that were presented above, I have to admit that I enjoy Timeline most. One of the most important things (in my approach of history) is seeing how events relate to one another. The timing of events is personally considered as one of those relations. In relation for the project that my group and I are committed to (the expansion and conversion of the previous blog page for historical markers in the area), it could be used to show the relation of events that are on the markers, or if available, the date that the historical marker was put up. Was there a certain period of time in which the city decided it would place a large number of markers in Fredericksburg or Spotsylvania? Are a good number of markers memorializing a certain period of time, such as the Civil War or another important era? These are a few of the things that Timeline can show a little better, or at least allow for an interpretation from the viewer of the dates shown in an organized manner.

Another tool that I saw (and have so far enjoyed thoroughly) is the blogging system. Everyone that I have talked to whom have taken a couple of history courses (at minimum) would agree that the history department loves blogging. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the History department would marry and have children with blogging, and the offspring would be UMWBlogs. Blogs are a very helpful tool for personal and professional work (due to the question posed in the outline, the edit was made while being written). I enjoy blogging to talk about my daily life, to post amusing pictures of furry animals, to harass people who don’t share the same opinions as me, and to post information on my current historical projects and follow up on the most current historical information. It’s very handy to use, and I can see why it is a well used tool in the UMW community.

I’m not too clever when coming up with serious responses to questions when I’ve already been given free reign over responses, so my creative abilities have always been used up in writing lovely, yet snarky responses for all of my papers and responses since freshman year of college. I mean, of my two responses so far, I would say that a decent combination would be linking a Timeline to a blog, which would allow for the dissemination of ideas in the form of comments that would elaborate on the topic.

2) Lists.

Valley of the Shadow:


  1. Ability to select  different sections by years.
  2. Extra resources available on main page.
  3. Overall organization.


  1. On the main page, I don’t think the “Room-like” layout is needed.
  2. The lack of up-to-date sort of styling or graphics.

French Revolution:


  1. The number of primary sources.


  1. The layout…I feel like I’m back in middle school looking at a website from the early 2000′s…

UMW Archives:


  1. The professional feel of the site.
  2. Very organized.
  3. I’m a sucker for old UMW photos.


  1. The professional feel of the site.
  2. It’s a little hard to go through.
  3. The URL.



  1. Layout.
  2. Simple color scheme that doesn’t detract from the information.


  1. The lack of information regarding each section.

Gilded Age:


  1. This. This is the best of them all. I enjoy the layout and information that is presented on this page.


  1. Nothing. At all.
  2. Cat.

Internet Failures

There comes a time where the technologies that are available to you will become useless.  In this technology-reliant age, when one is denied access to the internet, the whole world comes to a dead stop, and all hope is lost. For this one instance where it has happened to me this weekend, I blame Apogee.

Upon trying to communicate with both my group and Jim Groom, I was hit with a horrible connection. I’ve come to expect garbage service in my past two-and-a-half years at Mary Washington, but I finally hit the point where I just want to light my laptop ablaze while laughing hysterically. There has been no real work done on any of my online assignments for classes, and I have maybe a thirty minute window where I can type this and then pray to Cthulu that all of this stuff will post.

Some other issues that I’ve experienced problems in trying to do:

  • Play a video on YouTube.
  • Open a link to an important site for another class.
  • Play a game on my PC.
  • Download an ungodly amount of ‘legal’ music and movies.
  • Browse the interwebz.
  • Troll the interwebz.

I think you catch my drift here. I hate Apogee.

OH! OH OH OH OH OH! On a side note that’s related to the topic, but not quite the class, how can you have the Tennis channel but not have the Soccer channel??! Again; Apogee.

So, no news from this past week in regard to the furthering of the website expansion project. However, there was a lovely picture of a T-Rex that made me feel happy…until the internet stomped on that, too. Thanks, Apogee.


Apogee: The Crusher of Worlds and Projects.

“”I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Apogee Ruler, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. I will end you.”

-The extra chapter in Revelations. It’s okay if you haven’t heard of it, seeing as it was over 9000 pages.

Super Delightfully Awesome Digital History Blog Post Numero Uno

This is the first of many blog posts to come. It’s simply the beginning of this journey through the project known as “Site Expansion.”


To be brief, primarily since I don’t have too many details to add at this time, the beginning steps of this project are finally starting to come together. This is the exchange of information with my group members, and the plotting of a course of action.  With that being the first week, I expect nothing but phenomenal results and work for the rest of the semester. I mean, nothing can go wrong….right?


I will also end all of my blog posts with a picture. People love pictures.


Introduction: Digital History

I’m Laura, a senior, double major in Classics and History, and I will be graduating this May.

I have recently become interested in the digitization of historical artifacts and materials when I began working as an intern at the Fluvanna County Historical Society in the Summer of 2009. I started as an unpaid intern, and worked my way up to Senior Intern the past two summers. I created a Facebook page for the society, as well as a Twitter account and even worked on a collaborative digital history project – Piedmont Virginia Digital History Project - I have worked with PastPerfect software and even have experience in displaying museum exhibits.

All of this experience prompted me to look into graduate programs that specialize in museum studies, but more specifically with a focus on digital management. I applied to a few programs and decided to accept a conditional offer to the University of Glasgow for Information Management and Preservation(Digital) that I will begin in September of 2012. I am so excited to go study in Scotland for an entire year! So once I complete the one year masters program I will be accredited by both the Archives & Records Association and CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) to hopefully become a digital curator.

Needless to say, this class will give me a great background on collaborative work and digitizing history! Working with the James Farmer group I think will be one of the most rewarding projects that will not only impact the University community but anyone who is interested in James Farmer’s incredible work during the Civil Rights Movement, the Freedom Rides, or the formation of CORE.