Why the Quakers?

Since we’re so behind on blogging I thought it would be a good idea to recount the journey of our project from the very, very beginning. So here begins Part 1: The Beginning.
Lizzie and I met in a research methods course last semester when we found out that we had both been recommended for COPLAC Digital. Unfortunately we had no idea what we wanted to do—Quakers was something that we selected pretty last minute because it seemed to fit the criteria. I liked it in part because of my particular interest in religious history. Beyond that we came into this project with an extremely limited knowledge of who the Quakers were and what they meant in the larger context of American colonial history.
As we began looking into some of the preliminary research, it was clear that we were looking at a group of counterculture rebels. They are an unusually inflexible group—standing up in the face of intense scrutiny and discrimination. Immediately the centerpiece of the early part of their story in North America became apparent: the tensions between the Quakers and the Puritans. The narrative is almost cliché: a hypocritical majority challenged by a parallel minority group. It’s that conflict that really captured our attention and helped fuel the creative process.
So how to distill what was a very complicated and dynamic relationship into a website? We were immediately attracted to the idea of a story map primarily because it’s not a static tool. It struck us as being unique. It’s not a traditional blog post or web page which frankly could read as an essay with more sparkle or even the timeline which is nice but isn’t great at reflecting the power of physical change. So the use of this tool became the cornerstone around how the rest of the website developed.

Progress Update

Over the past few days I have been working on selecting photographs from West Virginia History On View. I believe I have most of them but I am still looking for a few for the Causes, Events, and Aftermath pages. I’m also working on constructing a header consisting of a map of the intact Virginia before the war, the attack on Fort Sumter or the signing of the Ordinance of Secession in Richmond, and a map of the separated West Virginia and Virginia after the war. This would give a quick visual primer on the story of West Virginia secession and the colors would provide a nice contrast with the largely black and white or sepia images. I would prefer to have an image of the signing of the Ordinance, but unfortunately I cannot find one yet.

I have also been working on fixing the issues with menus, but as yet without success. I tried following this tutorial but the unclickable parent link never showed up under my pages so I could not figure out how to add new pages underneath.

Website Layout Kinks

Last week, Abi and I had our weekly meeting to discuss the progress of our website. We updated our project contract to reflect the inability to make it to the archives over Spring Break. I think we are in a good place with the site as it is. We discussed adding in a new page titled “Political Profiles” (the name might change) to help visitors map out the changing political atmosphere so that they may better understand the shifts in views during this time. We also decided to break up the “Events” page listed under “Events.” I think it makes more sense to split it so that the secession of Virginia is not confused with the secession of West Virginia. I also thought that it would be too text heavy of a page and it would be too long. I wasn’t sure people would make it to the end of the page. Because of the split, I’ll have to re-do my timeline and split it into two different timelines for each respective page. I’m using the timeline as an overview/interactive visual at the top of the page so that viewers will have a general understanding of the events that took place so that when they scroll down they will be given more detail of each specified event in the timeline presented above.

Update 4/3/2017

I have been working on the timeline for our site, so please check it out and give any feedback you can. It took me way longer than necessary to figure out that I had been copying the wrong code to embed the timeline into the site and that’s why it was showing up wrong. So, if anyone is having trouble with the timeline showing up, make sure you copy the code that google docs gives you and then paste it into the timeline website, then copy the link it gives you after that.

Also, has anyone tried putting a map into their timeline? I am attempting to copy a google map into the timeline but it won’t show up for some reason. I’ll keep playing around with it to try and figure it out.

Other than that, I have been putting information onto our timeline with pictures. We have also been putting new images into our header to differentiate the different pages. We put subpages into our main secession page so that there isn’t as much information on one page and it doesn’t overwhelm the viewers.

We have been going through our scanned in documents to gather more information for our website. We have been filling in the information on our pages and our “Who Are The Mormons” page is tentatively complete. For those that don’t know anything about Mormons, could you read through it and let us know if the information is okay or if we need more? Thanks!

Progress Report (Again)

I submitted a progress report about two days ago, but it isn’t showing up… so if anyone can tell me where a progress report might be hidden, that would be good!

I am just going to combine the last report and this one together. Before the weekend, we finally made all of our pages desktop sized which is great because it makes the text more aesthetically appealing, and makes all the slideshows and storymaps bigger and easier to read. I specifically worked on adding analysis to the History section of our website. This part was very rewarding paired with Rachel’s work adding the politician interview analysis because it allows us to weave common threads throughout our project.

I am currently working on adding analysis to the social media parts of the website. Right now, I am trying to see what would be more logical and appealing, adding small sections of analysis throughout the many social media tabs we have, or creating one big block of analysis? The latter might be easier in terms of information consolidation so people don’t have to search for analysis. However, it is a big block of text… which might not be ideal.