Capstone Project: Nearly Finished

Very nearly finished…with my Capstone project for my master’s. Here’s a little summary of what it involves. I am creating a website based on the family papers and photographs within an archival collection to demonstrate a way of sharing genealogy on the internet. My defense paper ties in by exploring the ways family history research strengthens a person’s sense of identity and connection to history.

I’ve been hinting on Facebook and other outlets that I can’t wait to share this website but didn’t realize until this week, when people began expressing an interest, that that is not going to be possible. I promised the  donor of the collection, who gave me permission to digitize the items and who his helping me in other ways, that I would not publish the site. I am leaving it up to him whether he wants to publish it, or not.

I have made so much progress this week on the visual aspects of the site (colors, title, header) that the idea came to me of how I can share a peek. Screen captures. There are 56 pages in the site, so far, with two to go. But I am sharing two of those with you.

The menu tabs include “Home,” “Genealogy,” “Histories,” “Photographs,” and “Profiles.” As a reader scrolls down the Home page, he/she sees an explanation of  what these tabs mean and how to use them. “Genealogy” is two pedigree charts, one for each side of the family. The charts have hot spots on them that lead to photos, family group records, and census records. The “Histories” tab leads to a historical narrative for each of the Spoden and Clark lines. There are hyperlinks imbedded within the text that lead to digitized documents and photographs. “Photographs” is an index of the portraits used on the site, including dates, names, and the relationship of the persons featured in those photos. “Profiles,” my favorite, is four illustrated histories about the ancestors for whom I found the most documentation. Below is the profile page for William Micajah Clark.

Here’s a little explanation about the images used behind the title in the header of each page. There are 12 images all together that are used on the various pages. They each have the “Spoden – Clark” title over them. The little bit of document you see attached to the left side of each featured photograph is cropped from original letters from the collection. I think they are every bit as beautiful as the photographs are.

Well, there you go. I have one more history to write, today, video clips to add, and a photo album slide show to build. That’s it. Creating this site has been an emotional, exciting, privilege of a journey. A real archiventure.

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