Digital Public History

During the Spring 2013 semester this blog will be used for summaries and reviews of readings for History 796: Digital Public History.


Final Project

For the Final project some of my largest challenges came from creating individual divs for each of the images and creating caption boxes for these images. Between the draft and the final I made many changes. I was able to fix my text wrapping issue on the main page so that text could wrap around my “Birds Eye View” image.  I also flipped a portrait of Martha Peter so that she would be looking in to the site.

Additionally, I added links to the next pages at both the top and bottoms of each page so that my site visitors could navigate more easily. I also adding margins to the right of my pull quotes which went all the way to my right margin in my first draft.

Per class suggestions, I kept my color palette consistent throughout, but maintained different banners of equal size on each page. To cut down on the general boxy-ness of the site I added padding to the navigation bars and created smudging between the banner image and the header.

To bring more of my content “above the fold” I removed the left navigation and sidebar for the pages beyond the main page. This also made the project more of an isolated project instead of being just one of several assignments. But I wanted to keep this navigation bar on the main page of the Final so that the visitor could navigate through all pages, and so that my mini-bio stayed attached to the project, but not re-listed on every page.

I also created CSS Style Sheets for this project, added information in the code-header regarding what the site was about to help search engines find it, and created a new tab name – all of which I had never done before.

So now, here is my project:

Blog Comments

In place of blog comments this week I am going to do a brief review of Celeste Sharpe’s Final project draft:


  • I really like that when you hover over the images, specifically on the images page, that they get bigger without you having to click on them.
  • Like that the information you give is succinct and to the point. This lets your images speak for themselves.
  • I like that you link your work to the Creative Commons and tell your user how you hope your work will be used and shared in the future.

Areas that could be Imrpoved:

  • On the Main page there is an icon showing that there is a broken image link when I open the project in Chrome. Not sure if that is true of all web browsers.
  • There is not a lot of information ‘above the fold’ on each page. This is also something that I struggled with for my project.
  • The yellow on the Stereographs page is very saturated.
  • On your Images page there are bullet dots above each LOC link that aren’t connected to anything.

But overall I felt that Celeste did a really nice job. Her images were interesting and her project was a lot of fun to look through. It also reminds us that issues of photo authenticity is nothing new. Good job TA buddy!

Blog Comments

In place of blog comments this week I am going to do a brief review of David McKenzie’s Final project draft:


  • I like the multiple layers of your project
  • I like the look and feel of your interface. It is attractive and yet not distracting which is very necessary because of the various kinds of maps, images, and content which will eventually fill your many links.

Areas that could be Improved:

  • In the multiple layers, specifically in the Washington section, the text changes its justification with each link.
  • While the Journal entry within the Journey section is interesting it needs a little more left padding to make it easier to read. It could also be cool to have an image of the original document if at all possible.

Great job overall David! I can’t wait to see everyone’s in class over the next two weeks!

Final Project Draft

As a member of group 2 the preliminary version of my final project was due this week.

The issues which I ran in to with this project mostly had to do with images. That is, learning how to create text boxes, create separate divs for multiple images in one document, and trying to figure out text wrapping. I was mostly successful in this, with the exception of being unable to get the text to successfully wrap around my “Birds Eye View” image on the Final main page. Any coding suggestions that should help?

I also wanted to change the colors for each of the Final project pages to make them distinct and fit with what their specific pages were talking about. I’m not really in love with all the colors I landed on for this go round so if people have suggestions for any of the pages please let me know!

And now…. my project!

Design Project Comments

This week I was assigned to make comments on Megan Brett’s design  project which discussed the Southern Association for Women Historians, a group whose website Megan has kindly agreed to take over and rework. Here are my comments:


  • As someone who will likely one day become involved with this organization someday, I appreciated the information and content.
  • I liked that you based the design of your project on Ms. Magazine.
  • Basing the design off of the magazine made the image choice, as well as its placement make sense.
  • The magazine inspiration also made the three-columned layout make sense.
  • I liked that your color choice was inspired by the SAWH logo and the 1970’s when the organization was founded.

Possible Chages:

  • I wish there had been links to the various associations and conferences throughout.
  • There were a few text editing issues which were minor – specifically some organization names were not capitalized and the date for the annual conference didn’t have a complete year.
  • In the header I wish that the SAWH logo image had either been bigger or smaller so that its scaling would make sense with the other columns.
  • I think your header text could look good if it were the same font as the SAWH logo font.

Good job overall Megan!

About My Design Project

For this week’s design project I wasn’t really sure what topic or time period I would cover. To be honest I was kind of hoping to do something from the 1950’s, mainly because I wanted an excuse to use pastel pinks and teals. But alas, I don’t have any historical writings which focus on that time period. So instead I decided to use a brief book review of Professor Zagarri’s “Revolutionary Backlash,” which looks at women’s involvement in American politics from the American Revolution to the Jackson administration.

In attempting to create a site that looked and felt appropriately “Early Republican” the first thing I did was find a font which would look and feel like the script of the era. I found that in the Aquiline font from Font Squirrel which I embedded into my CSS. Another thing which was embedded in my site this week were links. I know it should be obvious, but before now I didn’t know how to link in DreamWeaver. Now I do.

The images I used this week were both created using the matted engraving techniques from the Image Assignment. I added the header image titled “Liberty and Union” as well as a decorative element which is used to separate my summary from my critique.  The “Liberty and Union” image also served as my color swatch for the title and navigation. The other beige and brown colors chosen for the site were meant to make it look like the kind of parchment which a pamphlet of the era would have been distributed on.

To position “Liberty and Union” I used the absolute image positioning we learned two weeks ago in class to help it swoop in to the body content. The h2 similarly dips in to the content to try and break up the boxy-ness of the site, something I’ve struggled with.

But with these two elements dipping in to my content I had to push the paragraphs down. Once that was done the paragraphs didn’t actually seem to line up with anything. So I decided to give the navigation more space through padded borders, also learned in the teach from two weeks ago, which allowed my paragraphs to line up with the navigation.

Now that I’ve explained my site, here it is: