October 31, 2005
Debbieís Final Project Proposal for Clio Wired
My proposal is to redesign the current website Quilts, Counterpanes and Throws. I chose this topic because I am not taking History 697 next semester; Iím saving it until I am accepted into the PhD program and actually have to take it. By then Iím hoping my youngest will be driving and Iíll have a little more time! So I wanted to choose a project that would benefit NMAH. After talking to our web office (they suggested a redesign of the Archives site but since we have a deadline of little over a month that didnít seem feasible. I suggested this group of objects because the collections fall under the divisions that I am responsible for assisting with their electronic records, and because I knew they had a volunteer that they were trying to get funded as a part time temporary to specifically assist with the quilt collection. I was able to schedule training for her and the curator to get them started on the road of enhancing the skeletal records as well as begin to discuss the digitizing of the slides and transparencies of the quilts.
Currently, there is a virtual exhibition of 30 images of quilts arranged by type. These records have one line of identification information and a detail image as well as the main image, but no narratives about the objects. Quilts are terrific objects of material culture and most have wonderful stories associated with them. The curator has written a book about some of them but many more are not yet documented! There are about 360-375 in the Textile collection with several others housed in other collections of the museum. I am proposing that we expand the presentation to include many of the narratives. I also would like to see a link to our on-line collections where we can continue to add object images and records as they are prepared for the web. There are also detailed quilt construction analysis notebooks; that are also very informative; the curator would like to make these available but most of the general public would not be interested in their level of detail and it is it is my understanding that they were produced on a manual typewriter and are not in electronic format. I like to see these made available as hyperlinks and we could handle them as PDFs. I would also like to see links to other quilt sites (such as Library of Congress and the Quilt Alliance with University of Michigan) that contain glossaries and recommended resources. Also new quilt home page would be a good place to include links to the quilt tour and to the care of quilts and textiles page. Finally Iíd also like to add an interactive section with games and activities as well as a place for the public to send us stories about family quilts or experiences with quilting bees or community quilt projects. This may prove useful for oral history documentation and may also bring us a few worthy additions to the collection. I am not a quilter although I had a great aunt who was, but I find the medium exciting and interesting. They are functional as well as visual pieces of heritage.
Posted by dschaef1 at October 31, 2005 01:55 PM