Another New Adventure

My name is Alex(andria) Parrish and I am a junior at UMW majoring in Art History and minoring in Museum Studies. Currently I am enrolled in HIST 428: Adventures in Digital History. This is a class designed as a senior seminar for history majors, though I do not meet the criteria of being a senior nor of being a history major.

So why am I taking this course, exactly? In all honesty, I signed up for this class because my advisor recommended it (and signing up was no easy feat, seeing as I had none of the prerequisites for the course). As I have learned more about the class, I am excited at the prospect of being exposed to more of the digital world and learning technological skills that will likely prove useful in the future. This site will consist of my personal experience in the class and updates on my group’s “then and now” project, which will compile historic and current photos of both UMW and the Fredericksburg area.

This is my second semester in a row of taking a class that is quite outside of my cozy comfort zone. In the fall I took a course on composing electronic music, and now I am enrolled in this ADH class where my first task is to create my very own website! I don’t have much technological know-how, but I’m hoping that I can just adapt and pick it up as I go. There’s a big scary digital adventure awaiting me just outside of my art-filled hobbit hole, and I’m ready to face it head-on!

Archival Research

Two of us went to UMW’s archives in the library yesterday and successfully found a ton of material and information. There are several student scrapbooks from that time with various pictures of students, teachers, and various members of the armed forces from that time period. These scrapbooks additionally had several pages that stated “War Times”. Catalogs from the university also held a ton of information and actually on from 1917 titled “Patriotism Through Local History Conservation in War Time Reorganization of English School Activities.” This catalog was most exciting because it was written by the the schools president and several professors of the time explaining how to conserve during wartime. We are still trying to find out if UMW’s curriculum changed, but have not looked through all of the catalogs. By the end of the week hopefully we will be able to finish our archival research.

The Beginning of an Exciting, yet Scary, Journey…

Welcome! I’m Carly, a senior (majoring in History and minoring in Museum Studies) at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA, and I’m currently enrolled in HIST 428: Adventures in Digital History.  If you’re reading this then you’ve stumbled upon (or have been told to look up) my blog for the previously listed course.  Throughout the course of this spring semester I will be posting on here about my experiences within the class, as well as updates about my group’s digital project, “then and now” photographs of the University of Mary Washington and the City of Fredericksburg.  Hopefully you’ll check-in over the next few months, because I can assure you, it is bound to be an entertaining story of a technologically challenged girl learning the ins and outs of digital history and all that that entails (except I can’t really tell you what that is yet because I don’t know…).

Why am I in this class? Well, for starters, to learn.  As I mentioned earlier, I consider myself “technologically challenged.”  Yes, I can use Google, Microsoft Office, Facebook, Twitter, and pretty much any of your other “every day” computer related programs, but beyond that, I hit a brick wall (or a “firewall” if I’m trying to use internet humor).  I’m hoping this class can expand my knowledge of some of the most up-to-date web applications that are used  in the field.  I’m also taking the course because it’s clear that so many aspects of the history world are becoming digitized.  This course provides the opportunity for me to study, learn about, take part in the process and, as I mentioned earlier, create a digital history project for the public to use for years to come.  Basically, I recognized that this course was an excellent opportunity, and I decided to take advantage of it.

I look forward to sharing with you everything to come, and hopefully I won’t have too many meltdowns in the process!

Why I’m Taking Digital History

I’m a senior History and English double major, and I have a great love of libraries, old books, and paper in general. I am not, by nature, technologically savvy at all; when I have a computer problem that is past my limited troubleshooting skills (I tried restarting it?) I call my brother who is a programmer, and he remotely controls and fixes my laptop.Despite my lack of natural digital skills, I recognize the importance of digital tools, both to the field of history and to the humanities in general, and am excited by the options they offer. I also understand that this is the direction the field is taking, and I want to be on board with that. Obviously, then, I need to improve my skills. So, here I am, eager to learn and, as Dr. McClurken said this morning, uncomfortable but not paralyzed.

Why I’m Taking Digital History

I’m a senior History and English double major, and I have a great love of libraries, old books, and paper in general. I am not, by nature, technologically savvy at all; when I have a computer problem that is past my limited troubleshooting skills (I tried restarting it?) I call my brother who is a programmer, and he remotely controls and fixes my laptop.Despite my lack of natural digital skills, I recognize the importance of digital tools, both to the field of history and to the humanities in general, and am excited by the options they offer. I also understand that this is the direction the field is taking, and I want to be on board with that. Obviously, then, I need to improve my skills. So, here I am, eager to learn and, as Dr. McClurken said this morning, uncomfortable but not paralyzed.

Hello world!

Hello! My name is Victoria; I’m currently a Senior at the University of Mary Washington (double majoring in Spanish and History) and am enrolled in HIST 428, Adventures in Digital History.  This blog will indeed detail my adventures, both in the class and with my group while we work on a project involving 3-D scanning and printing.

The semester has only just started, and several people have already asked me why I’m taking this class.  Basically everyone who knows me knows that I have problems with computers at their most basic level, why on earth would I take a class on the finer points of using computers, blogging platforms, and do I really want to try programming a 3-D printer? The short answer is yes. The long answer is also yes, just a little more detailed.

I may not be the best at all things technological, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn.  I’m hoping that this class will help me figure out not only what the best digital tools are, but also how to use them.  The world is moving online more and more every day, and the field of History is following that pattern.  Hopefully by taking this class I’ll manage to keep up with the field and have some fun while I’m doing it  :)

Why I am taking Adventures in Digital History

I am taking Adventures in Digital History for several reasons. The first is simply because I enjoy doing work or schoolwork that involves online components. Doing online work, such as making blogs, gives me the chance to be more creative than I would in a traditionally run class. In addition to that, I think that having more (accurate, scholarly) history online would not only benefit the discipline and allow it grow in the fast moving world around it, but it would also benefit people in general. The Internet is an an effective resource in educating large populations and populations who may not have access to a classroom education, but who can still spread knowledge elsewhere. Having even a basic idea of different points in history can definitely help us and future generations shape the future. Lastly, I really liked some of the project descriptions for the course, and I am very excited to work with the Then & Now pictures since those are posts I have already seen online before and have already found fascinating.

Adventures in Digital History, Spring 2014, J. McClurken