Looking over multiple historical archives, I noticed that there were a few that caught my eye. The ones I found interesting, organized, and rather innovative were Valley of the Shadow, Emancipation Project,
Virtual St. Paul’s Cathedral Project, and Emilie Davis Diaries.
Valley of the Shadow
I thought that The Valley of The Shadow archive had relatively one of the most organized websites. I loved how the different sections were organized based on buildings and rooms. I could easily judge where I needed to go if I wanted to look at information before, presently, or after the Civil War.
Even when you press a certain category your not immediately pushed onto another page. You get to see an example of what you would be looking at first, while still having the option to visit other categories in that specific period. It beats a traditional means of organizing categories or timelines, making it easier for a non-historian in my opinion. I even got to see a couple videos on this site, showing a point to point emphasis on the occurrence of battle and which route certain troops took, etc.
- I find that the Emancipation Project site offers a multitude of maps, graphs, and a visual progression of changes within a certain landscape. It allows someone to pinpoint areas in which certain populations of people differed or held something in common. I believe it goes beyond traditional maps by adding videos of yearly changes in a geographical space, while also marking areas of certain inheritance.
However, the graphs seem to be relatively traditional, while the grey color to the site can make it seem a bit gloomy. Only when you actually get to see a map, does color pop out. Which means they are having people awe at the visual representation of the maps when they do show. However, in my opinion it would be good to lively things up beyond a grey bracket formation. Or maybe add an example of what kind of maps people would be seeing before pressing a given criteria. Otherwise people may not press on. http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/emancipation/matrix.html
Virtual St. Paul’s Cathedral Project
Looking at Virtual St. Paul’s Cathedral Project, I cant say it is my favorite, yet it caught my interest in some ways. I noticed that this particular website is based on a Cathedral, which makes it very focused archive, relative to the other ones. However, it did a splendid job in creating a certain atmosphere to its website. It focused on the architecture, sounds, and environment of the cathedral. In a way it gives you a sense of actually visiting the place. They did this by showing models, diagrams of the building, while also sharing live sounds from the town. Thus, I thought it did well in creating atmospheric genre to its website, something that normal information, or pictures cant do.
hEmilie Davis Diaries
In the Emile Davis Diaries I love personal portrayal you get from Emilie’s life day to day, based on the pages noted on top. It can definitely fulfill a basis of what kind of routine a woman in her position and status went through. Its possible though, beyond the translation that this could be in a book as well. Thus, to further maker this site more valued is to maybe display what types of things were going on in that time period beyond her recognition of it. As well, as pinpoint areas where certain themes or events pop up that someone would be interested in. Otherwise this website can mainly serve as an online journal that also showcases the original material. https://davisdiaries.villanova.edu/january_4-6_1863/
Overall, I felt a lot of these archives market themselves differently, compared to what I am used to seeing. It good seeing how they organized their pages, focused on a theme, or place, as well transcribing work from its original source. They prove to be innovative resources for both historians and people who are interested in what they are showcasing.