Defending my Contract

April 26th, 2012

For referral, here is a link to our contract.

Despite uncertainty and unforeseen problems, I believe my group followed our contract as promised.  Our main goals was to create a digital archive that showed James Farmer “in his own words,” with little to no interpretation. To show case the lectures we promised to edit, upload, transcribe, and summarize each lecture, which we completed. For technicalities, we stated in our contract that we would use WordPress through UMW Blogs, which we did because it was the best format to display and organize the lectures. Even though we stated that we would use SoundCloud, to host the audio, we later changed to use iTunesU. After our contract was written we received the permission to use iTunesU, which was a better place to house the audio. We wrote that we would use SoundCloud because at the time we were told that iTunesU would not work. We were told that the UMW account/server was down. However, once we were told that we had permission and access to use iTunes we uploaded the audio to it.  As stated in our contract, we did use Vimeo to upload and house the lectures online. For the work load, Kelsey transcribed each lecture, I summarized each lecture, Caitlin and I used Adobe Premier to edit clips to create small summaries or “selected stories,” Caitlin created a video trailer that promotes our project and James Farmer’s legacy, and Laura organized and developed the site.  We held to this list of jobs, but also helped and added to the project. We all worked together when others needed help. For example, we all proofread Kelsey’s transcriptions. We all created publicity for the site e. Kelsey included a map on top of her workload. There was never a time when one person did not have work to do because when there was no work left in the contract a member would pitch in to get work finished or create a new part of the project. We held to our timeline of work. On our last meeting with Dr. McClurken we discussed adding a statement on how to cite our website. Unfortunately, we did not get around to adding it. However, we will add it to our website once we get the edits back from Dr. McClurken. We hope to not be penalized because we plan to add it and it was not stated in our contract. Even though we had difficulty with the missing videos, I think we handled the situation in the best way possible. We might not have had the video, but we included the audio, transcription, and summary of each of the missing videos. I believe that as a group and as individuals we all participated fully in the creation of the website. In addition, I believe that we followed our contract. If anything, I believe anything we did outside of our contract was an addition to our final product.

Final Project

April 24th, 2012

Last night we made the corrections to our site, and now it’s finished! It is a really exciting project and I’m proud of all the work my group put into it. Also, I am glad that these videos are in a more accessible format. James Farmer’s lectures are important and useful primary sources of the Civil Rights Movement.

Here is the link:

April 22, 2012 Update

April 22nd, 2012

This weekend I proofread the website. Not only did I actually edit text, but also, made sure all the tabs, links, videos, and audio work. We are working to add a few more things, such as, related links and the videos from the other James Farmer site. For our presentation, we just need to tweek a few things. But, now we have Caitlin which will be nice.

It’s the Tail End

April 19th, 2012

We are shooting to turn the website into Dr. MCclurken before Tuesday. We still have more work to do, but it is mostly cleaning things up and publicity.

Kelsey made a Twitter, which is @jamefarmerlec. So, follow us! We need to finalize, print out, and post our flyers. We also need to paint the rock.

For our site, we need to cite a few photographs, add a few more related links, we want to add the other videos from the other Farmer site, and proofread. I started proofreading today, which is not just about texts. I am going through and making sure every link, tab, and button takes the user where it is suppose to take them. Also, I am making sure all the videos are working in the proper order.

We are in the home stretch!


April 19th, 2012

I think our group presentation went pretty well on Tuesday. I really wish Caitlin could have been there because she has worked so hard on this project. But, when you are sick you are sick.

There are things we are going to change for our presentation. One we will have the full group. Caitlin created a shorter trailer today. This way we have more time to talk because the next presentation is shorter than the last one. We are also going to work on a more clear introduction. Like Dr. McClurken told us today, not everyone know what we are talking about. We need to be more clear about the basics of our project even though we know it so well.


April 11th Update

April 11th, 2012

Today I inserted the text of the summaries for all the audio and video posts. This way people can just read the short summary to see if they want to hear, read, or watch the lecture. Also, we can tag important words within the summaries.

I, also, put in text and a photograph on the About page which describes James Farmer,his time at UMW and how these lectures were created.

I created a QR code for our site. We can put it on flyers for people to scan with their smart phones and it will take them strait to our site. Here is the code:

Update on the JFDA April 10th

April 10th, 2012

Our group is moving right along.

I finished cleaning up Vimeo, which meant that I added summaries, a ton of tags, and the link to our page.

My agenda for this week is to make a strong list of people, websites, and organizations we might want to contact about our site once it is complete. Hopefully, these contacts will share our link on their sites.

April 10th Readings

April 8th, 2012

David Voelker’s “Blogging for Your Students” pertains not just to our class, but also to every one of my classes that blogs or doesn’t blog. Some of my classes use blogs successfully (ADH2012), others don’t use them well, and I have other classes that should use blogs to enhance the discussion. As Voelker stated, “Because of their ease of use, their public and archivable nature, and their ability to foster interaction, blogs have excellent potential as teaching tools.”

In my opinion blogs enhance the discussion in the classroom. Voelker points out that student “comments are more thoughtful and substantial.” I agree with this statement, and I would also say that I think blogging helps students prepare for class. Writing a blog post forces students to summarize what they read/learned or ask questions for clarity. This is valuable because most students (if they even read the assignments) might not retain anything for class discussion. Writing in a blog post forces students to critique think about what they are reading. However, to make this work I do think the instructor needs to make blogging mandatory. And, not just writing posts, but making comments on other classmates’ blogs. Unfortunately, like many assignments students can find a way to not complete them.

I do want to point out one of Voelker’s suggestions because I really like it. You could invite a “guest expert” to blog with the students. I don’t know what this would look like, but I think it could bring a nice change to the blogging.

Alex Sayf Cummings and Jonathan Jarrett’s article “Only Typing Informal Writing, Blogging and the Academy,” discusses the pros and cons of blogging for historians. The demonstrate how blogs help advertise historical research or historians’ individual careers, and produce dialogues with readers that might not have read the argument if it were not on the internet. Despite these positives the authors comment on the main argument, is blogging scholarly? Both authors give their answers to this common critique, but I agree more with Cummings who states, “this informal zone of writing, sharing, and discussion can complement, rather than supplant, the main streams of scholarly discourse and publication.” Blogging does not replace academic journals, but can enhance them.

Daniel J. Cohen’s “Zotero: Social and Semantic Computing for Historical Scholarship,” demonstrates how Zotero can aid researchers compile and share bibliographic information. Zotero makes it easier to import research objects and sort them without using note cards. I think the most important feature of Zotero is sharing and networking your findings with others. One could share books, articles, and websites with anyone looking for the same topic. This opens the field of contributors, and allows scholars to see the updated materials in their fields of study.  I liked reading this article because it reminded me how useful Zotero is when researching. I really need to use it more.

The footnotes for Age of Lincoln.

It’s pretty amazing that you can put the text online and then link to where you got your information in your footnotes. I truly believe this is the future the future of citing sources. However, it is in the beginning stages. For example, not all the sources are online (which is fine). Also, some of the links are dead, which is unhelpful.

Press Release: JFDA

April 3rd, 2012

We are pleased to announce the completion of a digital archive of the lectures given by James Farmer at Mary Washington College in 1983, filmed on location by a local television station. These lectures encompass a wide variety of Farmer’s experiences as a Civil Rights leader and as an African American during the 1960s. In Dr. Jeffrey McClurken’s Digital History seminar, Caitlin Murphy, Kelsey Matthews, Michelle Martz, and Laura Donahue were tasked with creating a website to make the lecture recordings accessible to the public. These students decided the goal was to present Farmer in his own words. His life experiences and eloquence easily allow his stories to stand on their own. Project tasks included creating the website aesthetics and uploading of completed items, making the website easily searchable, digitizing the lectures, uploading them to Vimeo, clipping out selected stories, making a video trailer to promote the lectures, and transcribing each lecture. With the help of Tim Owens and Jim Groom of DTLT, the group has received extraordinary assistance in website design as well as podcast help. The podcasts of lecture audio are now available in iTunes. We invite you to enjoy our website at the following url:

March 27 – Reflections on Readings

March 26th, 2012

I’m going to be honest at the beginning; this weeks articles were difficult for me. It could be because I’m getting over a sinus infection. But, I really think its because I don’t know a lot of the vocabulary. I spent a lot of time looking up words and then looking up more words in the definition. I think now I have a handle on the Ngams.

What I have taking from these articles and sites is that searching for history is complex and there are a variety a ways to go about searching. Also, how are people making searching for history easier? How can we as a class make our sites more searchable?

Carr, Is Google Making Us Stupid? (2008)

As I read Carr’s article, I found myself trying to skim it. However, I tried to force myself to read the entire article to prove a point. That my reading hasn’t changed, but it has. My friend and I joke that we don’t read too many articles anymore. Instead we just read their headlines on our tweeter feeds. I still read articles, but only the ones with the most compelling titles. I think Carr makes a good point about reading, but I think it has to be reading on the computer. For me, there is a major difference between reading a printed book and a book on the web. I don’t focus as much once with the text on the screen.

Applying Quantitative Analysis to Classic Lit,” Wired, Dec. 2009

This article was interesting to me because it makes a lot of sense for researchers. Wouldn’t it be great to pop in a search engine  7,000 books in 18th- and 19th-century England and discover a correlation between them? Research would be simpler in the fact that there would be results. However, I am concerned that the majority of the results would be insignificant to the research.

The Mining Dispatch is a really interesting site! It’s amazing how they put together the articles. You can almost compare them right away. This site works because it can work for multiple interests and research objectives.