History 615:

The Final Project

Digital History Project (revised guidelines)

Proposal Due: 2 November 1998.

Project Due: 14 December, but half the class needs to be prepared to make a draft presentation on 7 December.

The final project for this course is to write a proposal for a digital history project. Although most people will decide to propose something for the World Wide Web, you can propose to use any media (e.g., cd-rom or floppy disk) in which you will convey information in the past in digital form.

The project can encompass any of the different genres of historical presentation that we have discussed in the course, e.g., an archive, an electronic essay, a textual edition, an exhibit, a teaching resource, or a discussion area.

Proposals, which will be presented on-line, should contain the following features, although you can organize your presentation in whatever format you prefer:

1. An explanation of the scope of the project and the genre of project you are proposing.

2. An overall map (visual or prose or both) of the structure of the site and how people will navigate through.

3. A rationale for why a digital format makes sense rather than some traditional format

4. A review and analysis of sites/project that are similar in content and genre and how your project builds upon or improves upon what has already been done.

5. A prototype of some significant portion of the project that would allow some to judge whether your concept is workable, attractive, etc.

Obviously not everyone's proposal will precisely follow this template. If, for example, you think that it will be difficult to produce a significant prototype, you could (by arrangement with me) develop a more limited prototype and then expand some other aspects of the proposal, e.g., your review of the existing examples. All projects need to be approved by the instructor.

Groups of two or three people could propose to work together on these projects. If so, you should be aware of the following caveats. The expectation in terms of scale and quality of work increases directly with the number of people involved. Projects done by two people should naturally be twice as large and/or well developed as those done by one person. Groups will need to accept that all members of the group will receive the same grade for the project, unless you can come up with an alternative arrangement to which we can all agree.

Some sample Graduate student hypertext projects