Adventures in Digital History

The After Break Update

Now that Spring Break is over, it’s time to get back into the swing of things!

Like many others, I did not do much over Spring Break. I took the time to relax and get some much needed rest after the stressful weeks leading up to Break. It seems like almost every class I’m in decided some big portion of a project or a paper was due before the Break, so I didn’t feel like doing much.

This doesn’t mean I didn’t do anything though! I took some time over Break to look through the remaining websites Shannon gave us access to. I discovered pretty quickly that these sites were not going to be as easy to work with as the previous ones. Why? Well, the first handful of sites were from 2014-2016. The majority of them were Omeka sites and Omeka Classic looks very similar to the 2022 version. The sites we’re working with now are from 2008-2010. And Omeka 1.1 is a beast that does not like to be touched. At all.

I’ve hit a roadblock on two out of three of the Omeka sites we were most recently given access to. These sites have similar issues: maps are broken, timelines gone, and the pesky login/register links were present when they aren’t supposed to be there at all. I quickly discovered the map and timeline issues are probably a lost cause, because the software that used to run them is now defunct and no longer operable. Plus there’s no information that tells us what may have been on these timelines and maps, so we may be forced to do away with them completely. The other issue I mentioned about the login/register buttons is just as frustrating. We were told to remove all login/register buttons on DH sites to reduce the risk of hacking or spam. However, these sites use a plugin called MyOmeka to provide the button which, when deactivated, takes the entire site’s information with it. See my dilemma? I’m currently trying to figure this issue out, and will hopefully have better results by next week.

On a happier note, I have made progress with two WordPress sites. WordPress, thankfully, does not put up as much of a fight as Omeka. Plus, many of these issues were things I knew how to fix. For example, the Then and Now site had a map that wouldn’t load map markers and the dropdown menu simply wouldn’t work anymore. Updating WordPress broke the site, so I was forced to redirect people from the map to the posts page by providing an explanation, as well as adding some directly to the menu because some custom code from 2016 does not allow the dropdown menus to work anymore. Century America had an issue with a TimelineJS project not loading. Thankfully Dr. McClurken was able to get into contact with one of the former students who worked on the project and she provided us with the link to the Google Spreadsheet containing the timeline. I had to reconfigure the embed link and update some of the images due to broken links, but ran into no other issues.

While I was working on this, the other members of my group have been working to transfer everything onto our central site. I am due to start writing up blog posts that talk about the changes to certain sites, so stay tuned for that!

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