week 2 assignments


I think Omeka is a great tool for preserving and archiving history. It makes creating a website for archival purposes easy for those who don’t have the skills of making a website on their own. One thing I really like about Omeka is that it can go beyond the purpose of preserving history and be used to various other things. I could use Omeka to archive different dogs I’ve seen in the city with a link for others to upload and archive the dogs they’ve seen. Or I can archive and upload ebook pdf files with the intent of making them free to the public. For digital history, sites like this can help preserve historical documents and make them readily available to the common person as opposed to needing to be a scholar to gain access to certain documents. One of the digital history websites I really liked was the one about the Gilded Age Murder (http://gildedage.unl.edu/). For me it was easy to understand and navigate with a clear goal listed that drew me in and it had a color scheme that fit the title. One of the websites I did not care for much was the one about the Great Molasses Flood (http://omekasites.northeastern.edu/DeepMap/neatline/fullscreen/1919-molasses-flood). It had a good idea being able to click on parts of the newspaper and information would pop up, but it felt very cluttered. And all it was was just the clickable newspaper. It felt very disorganized to me. It would be better if it had an easier to understand design.

Preserving data begins and ends at preserving. Once it is preserved it is done. Curating data is maintaining the collected data and deciding what data is saved and what data is not. Aggregating the data is collecting the data for a purpose of archiving it. To preserve the data the first thing you need to have is the data itself and sometimes that might not be so easy to get. If a piece of data belongs to someone they need to let you digitally preserve it which might mean paying them for it. Curating a collection of data is often done at the expense of the curator. For really big collections that are popular there could be multiple curators, but for smaller projects there could only be one. One thing that’s hard about digital archiving is deciding what to do with the physical copy. If it can’t be saved then it has to be relocated somewhere else or even destroyed. There is also the problem of giving access to something that is intellectual property. Not everything can be free and open for all to use. Some digital history projects and archives pay for the rights to the intellectual property to be made public access. To preserve my own family’s history I would first start collecting old photographs from relatives and then interview these relatives. I wouldn’t want to share absolutely everything. I would probably just trace my family history as far back as I could and document the timeline. I would use an Omeka website to put this information on. The website would have a clear mission statement on the front page with links to archived pictures and interviews. There would be a clickable timeline at the top that would redirect someone to a collection of data from that year with a short paragraph of events for that year. It would be a closed collection. I will decide what gets put in based on what I think is important to the timeline of my family. If something isn’t relevant to the timeline then it doesn’t need to be put in. An archivist should decide what should be preserved based on importance to whatever project it is they are working on. The websites should be easily found through common search engines.



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