I am in contact with the head of archives at Shepherd University and they have not yet given me much information on the resources available. I would assume that the school newspaper, which was around at the time, has been archived and could be useful. But as we have only been here a week the extent to the material has not fully been explored. I also got in contact with the local historical society in attempt to see what material they had on the time period. The head of the society said that the archives were too messy to handle and I wouldn’t find anything. However I hear from people who have worked with the historical society in the past that the head of archives there can work the collection very easily and I should try and get in contact with them directly. Furthermore I have discovered a plaque on campus of all the men from Shepherd who died in the war, which I should be able to use my ancestry.com account to find out more about them. I also believe I am going to use information on Storer College I found on their contribution in World War I. This was an all African American college located in near by Harpers Ferry and is important to the story as Shepherd was segregated at the time. Race relations does appear to be a major issue in the area at the time as Birth of a Nation was shown in the local Opera House in 1916 and at the near by Antietam National Cemetery a separate section was devoted to African American Soldiers from World War I. This is ironic if you consider the history surrounding the battle of Antietam.
I was immediately drawn to this site as it was about the Civil War and its impact on two small towns, one North and one South. The mention in the beginning of John Brown’s raid caught my attention having worked at Harpers Ferry. However upon entering the site I saw some aspects that I liked, and others that I didn’t. First I did not like the look of the site, had a plain white background and the graphics seemed almost sloppy making the sight feel like it was from the late 90’s. Furthermore, while the site talked about in the beginning that it was about two towns, I actually had to do some digging and it took a while to find out what exactly the two towns were. Some good aspects of the site however were that it was very well organized. The site is clearly set up with three main sections: pre-war, war years, and post war/reconstruction. within each category there are sub categories such as images, newspaper articles, etc. This aspect made the site very easily navigated. One other note should be that the site is entirely sources from each town. This can be both good and bad depending on what the visitor is looking for, while on one hand some sources probably need further explanation with them for the average reader.
I opened this link not knowing what to expect. What I found was an interesting concept. The idea for this site is that the reader can get a general understanding of what the town of Lincoln, Nebraska was like in the 1890’s with information on the site centering around a murder case. The site has a wide variety of information ranging from biographies on the prominent members of the town at the time to simply photographs. I also found the site easily maneuverable since the basic sections of the site were listed on the lefts side of the screen so you can immediately click on what information you wanted to look at. While I enjoyed the site I do not think that for this project I would want to find a singular event within Shepherd to have my information surround, although it is an interesting concept.
This site I found no redeeming qualities about. Upon entering the site you are immediately confronted with a large image of a timeline with a complex series of art above it. The image is so large that most the writing on it is small and unable to be read. Believing that this was to be used to navigate the site and present the information I clicked on it, only to find that it only enlarged the image, but the timeline was still hard to read. Scrolling down I found an explanation of the site, a poorly written one I might add. It took a couple readings of the introductory paragraphs to understand that the site was an examination of letters from the time of the republic and how they related as networking and passing along the information. Even the 2 and 1/2 minute introductory video made it unclear as to what the site was about. The sub sections of the site included case studies, blogs and publications. All of which gave little indication of what the goal of the site was other than studying prominent figures of the time period. If at all possible I want to avoid using this site as a way of designing the site for this course.
A study of Shepherd University and the surrounding area during World War I