Yesterday in class we spent some time working on our Omeka projects and like most of the hands on projects I have been doing for HIST 612 it was both more complicated than I thought it would be and just as simple as I imagined. I had chosen my images and even pulled a couple of sections from the MSA oral history interviews to use and thought that I had filled out my spreadsheet with all the required fields. Not true, I ended up having to work on it this morning do to a combination of too many users on the system causing it to log me out when I hit add item and a confusion in metadata terms. This morning it was a smooth process and only took me about an hour and a half of work to update my spreadsheet, add the items into Omeka, and put them into my exhibit page, The Belvedere as an Anchor for Main Street, with captions. I still need to create my text panels to give it flow and meaning but now that I have sloughed through entering the items the process seems much simpler for me to do and understand.
I am really excited about the possibilities of this project and the product I will eventually produce but as with many of our efforts my lack of technological know-how has hindered me. Learning any new skill is difficult but I have found that having to learn to navigate not just a digital tool but the language behind it to be more challenging than any of my expectations. I am always excited by our projects and they all seem so interesting and the skills are things that will translate well to a resume it just seems to take me twice as long to do anything as I work through my discomfort with anything more technologically challenging than facebook.
My page for our class exhibit is something I am really excited about. I am exploring the use of the Belvedere and the redevelopment of Louisville’s waterfront as an anchor to attract other businesses and cultural attractions to Main Street. As I learned from the oral histories and my podcast people want to go were there are other people and having beautiful spaces, interesting attractions, or profitable businesses draws other development to the area. It will be an interesting continuation of something Ashley and I touched on in the podcast but were not able to explore in depth. Even though my page is only halfway done at this point seeing my items up and captioned in exhibit format is very cool.