As time progresses and things change, the way history is researched, presented, and archived will change as well. The twenty-first century appears to be in a digital revolution and things such as books are being digitized more and more. Historical content can be preserved, retaught, and accessed through websites once becoming digital, but these websites must have good designs, be easy to use, and be able to reach their intended audiences.
In class, we took a look at a few pages that contained historical content and data and evaluated their effectiveness. A few websites my table explored were Gilded Age Murder, The Elizabeth Murray Project, and The Emancipation Project. Out of these three, Gilded Age Murder and The Elizabeth Murray Project were my favorite. I believe that the website on Elizabeth Murray was effective due to its easy to navigate website, easy to read print, and the overall presentation of the page. The website was intended for elementary and middle school students due to its simplistic design and the easy to read summary on Elizabeth Murray on the opening page. The website is also an effective resource for teachers as it provides lesson plan ideas and summaries as well.
The Gilded Age Murder page is also an effective resource tool due to its overall good design. The page is simplistic, visually aesthetic, and is easy to navigate. As stated in the novel Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web, “If a website is a tool, Nielsen and Krug tell us, then we want it to be as usable as possible, and good design helps to achieve that important goal.”
One website I didn’t find effective was The Emancipation Project. Though easy to use, it may be too easy to use, it takes simplistic to an almost insulting level and the page designs are not up to par with the other two mentioned sites. For me, I rather not have to download external applications in order to use a page, but this website requires it.
After exploring these three websites I do believe that The Gilded Age Murder and The Elizabeth Murray Project do a great job in leveraging technology in an effective, appropriate, and innovative way. The use of hyperlinks and providing links to primary sources and or maps within the same page is a great tool because it makes the sites easier to use. Most people including myself, rather get our information all from one page instead of having to be directed to another web page. Though these two websites are online resources, they are comparable to educational books, but one can see the potential and usefulness of having these books digitalized because once digital, these resources can reach more people than a book could.