Digital Archive Assignment

If touching the thumbnail doesn’t work, then the link is here:

For this assignment, we were supposed to set up a digital archive using the web creation program Omeka S. Said website was supposed to include an exhibit that included at least five items relating to Mundelein College. It took me a while to set up everything, but I eventually did. When it comes to working with computers, I’m decent at doing the basic stuff, the real problem is with polishing. The omeka site has everything the assignment requested, but I ran into trouble when it came to actually polishing my site. In my search to figure out how to get thumbnails to show up on my archive, I found myself having to look through multiple forums in order to even get a semblance of an idea of what to do. Imagine my shock when I found out that there was no way that image directory could be installed without hard coding. I’m terrible at coding! I haven’t tried it since high school when I almost failed a basic coding class in my freshman year. But, for the sake of the assignment, I decided to try again.

That was a mistake.

I don’t know what I did, but I must have done something when looking through the files of my Omeka domain, because shortly thereafter, my control panel was unable to redirect to the admin page. I searched for hours for a way to fix it, but the only possible solution I could find was getting rid of my internet cookies. I tried that, but it only made it worse. By then, it was half past nine and I had been working on this for more or less five hours. I checked back today and I still am not able to get to the admin page. I fear the ability to access that page may be lost forever.

So, I cut my losses and just resigned myself to have a plain Jane type digital archive. Again, everything that the assignment required it to have is still on the page, and the public page can still be accessed. I’ll just have to be content with it looking not so pretty.

Throughout the course of this class, I’ve gained a new appreciation for digital and graphic designers. The amount of dumb coding things that you need to do in order to make a website or panel look like it wasn’t constructed for a freshman mid-term project is actually a lot harder than it looks; furthermore, the more I attempt to stretch my horizons, the more I fear I fly too close to the sun. Stick to what you know, I guess. That’s probably why the Humanities has had such a hard time digitizing, as up until about 5-10 years ago there simply weren’t enough people that had the skills required to begin the digitization process.





5 responses to “Digital Archive Assignment”

  1. Chris Cantwell Avatar
    Chris Cantwell

    Harrison. First, the thumbnail issue you encountered is something everyone experienced that we worked out. I can show you later. But i also don’t see a link to the archive?

  2. Brian Burtka Avatar
    Brian Burtka

    I am sorry to hear that you had difficulty with this project. I had the same problem with thumbnails. The barebones website contains everything you need for the project. If you want to go back and rework it, a fresh install of Omeka S would be the best path.

    PS. For those looking for the site, here is a link:

  3. Nikola K. Avatar
    Nikola K.

    For both our respective archives, I like that we focused on similar themes, working with the WLA’s materials and preserving Mundelein College’s now fading history. We even have an overlap in materials! I.e., The Skyscraper.

    I had similar experiences setting up my own archive. Though I did not encounter as many issues, it is a very tedious process that can be admittedly annoying. I feel that my own archive is a bit “plain” too, but I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. I’d prefer an efficient and simple presentation over a more “decorative” that buries the content behind the presentation.

  4. Dariel Avatar

    I like that this post was personal and talked about the very real struggles of working on the back end of a digital project. The narrative quality of this post was good. However, the post did not speak to much of anything about the actual archive and I would have liked more insight on the inspiration and process of creating the actual archive.

  5. Mazzy Teich Avatar
    Mazzy Teich

    I appreciate you keeping it real Harrison. These sites weren’t easy to set up. As for your archive I am not sure what theme you were following with the objects. We had a little overlapping subject matter, but I’m not sure what theme you were following.

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