Final Digital Project: Beyond the Generals Tour

My final project is a HistoryPin tour entitled “Beyond the Generals: Civil War Memorials in D.C.” My goal was to dig into some of the lesser-known memorials and monuments around D.C. in order to draw out some more general trends in memorialization and how the way we publicly mark events changes over time. I chose to focus on Civil War memorials because there are so many, and to cut out all statues of generals as a way of narrowing down my selection. In order to trace larger trends in monumental architecture, I laid out the tour chronologically in the order in which the memorials were dedicated.

From the rough draft to this final version, I have made a handful of changes. All the tour text has been revised and cut down, so each tour stop comes in around 300 words. I wanted to strike a balance between creating a substantive narrative and keeping things short enough for a person to read while walking around the different tour stops. I also added one more stop: the John Ericsson Memorial. It makes for a significant detour if someone wants to walk this tour route in order, but I have made note of that in the tour and labeled it as an optional side trip.

One suggestion I received was to add another stop or two to round out the time frame, because the tour jumps from memorials dedicated in the 1920s up to one dedicated in 1997 with nothing in between. Unfortunately, it turns out that there were not a lot of Civil War monuments being built in those intervening seventy years, and I could not find anything to add. That said, I definitely think the absence of new memorials for such a long period is an equally important part of this story, and I have added to the tour text a bit to discuss that gap.

HistoryPin did end up presenting some minor technical challenges. The mobile site is not as robust as I had hoped. A few of the historic images I uploaded kept disappearing – hopefully they’re all visible to you now, but if not, there are at least links in the text to get back to the image sources and see how they are supposed to look. And on the subject of links, the final issue was embedded links. HistoryPin automatically creates embedded link cards when you paste in a URL, and there does not seem to be any option to disable them. They make the citations look a bit strange, but all the information is understandable. Overall, given that it is straightforward, easy to use, and free, HistoryPin was still probably the best tool for this tour.

My final poster is below, and I look forward to sharing more about this project with everyone in class!

Beyond the Generals Poster

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