This week I have continued my search for resources as well as reading some of the longer materials I found previously. My next step is to start building the exhibits within Omeka.
The reading about oral history have shown that with current technology, it can have both positive and negative implications. The Web allows researchers to both post their interviews to a wider population as well as find more people to interview, which allows them to broaden the scope of their project. The major drawback is that this process can be very complex. Ensuring that visitors to these projects are able to view, hear, and use the information presented can be a major hurdle. Accessibility is another concern, because transcribing the interviews is a costly and time-consuming exercise.
The use of oral history has already helped my project, as I was able to find interviews related to an exhibit from the Smithsonian that I can add as a resource.
This weekend I had a wedding to attend, so I was unable to spend much time with my Omeka site. I have been able to read through some of the research books I have found for the exhibit, though.
One of the things I noticed with local history sites was that funding was a major hurdle. Several articles mentioned that money came through grants one year that were not renewed, and the developers were left with a half finished project. I viewed these projects as more in line with teaching others about the specific location or group and to spread that knowledge to others. This type of site is much more intensive on the creation aspect of the project, with gathering artifacts and conducting research, etc., where it takes a wealth of time and money to complete.
Others local history projects utilized the communities they were researching to help gather materials that went into the project, and I feel this aspect can help my own. My project focuses on a particular group, and since I plan to include a forum component, I can easily include a topic where visitors can suggest ways to improve the exhibit portion of the site.
This week I have focused on research. My Omeka site has not been updated very much because of this.
One of the reading this module talked about whether to design an exhibit linearly or non-linearly. The key design aspect of my project is that there is a historical component and a discussion component. Because of this, this reading brought to my attention that I need to consider that visitors will see one side and not necessarily the other. One of the solutions is to mention the other part of the site at some point, whether it is in the about section, a pinned post, or somewhere similar. Once I have more of the site developed I can see which method works best.