This digital project, “A River of Parties,” uutilizies a close reading of a Smithsonian artifact. The purpose is to provide context to this unique piece and a little bit more history as well.
So far, the website has been constructed, and every post has a rough outline of the information being included. The information is meant to provide a general overview of the era, but a “Further Reading” page will direct viewers to sources for deeper dives.
Every post will have a zoomed in/cropped version of the artifact to focus on the era being discussed. The original intent was to have the image interactable. This may still happen, but right now its not a priority.
The site also needs some more context for the origin of the document, as well as links within posts to redirect and enable a better sense of exploration.
Most of the work that remains is filling in the posts with information, and tightening the design of the site. Any feedback or questions would be great!
One Reply to “Project Update – Lukacs”
This is a really interesting idea and it’s great to see it taking shape. I’m excited to see how this comes together. Below are some thoughts and notes for you to consider as you keep working through it.
If I’m reading this right, it looked like you have built this through “posts” instead of “pages.” Given what you are trying to make, I think it would likely make a lot more sense to just build out the site using pages instead of posts. Posts are primarily about serializing the publication of content over time as blog posts as opposed to pages that are more flexible in terms of hierarchical arrangement and are intended to be more static through time. If you did use pages you could then arrange the pages into a nested hierarchy with so in that case you could break the whole history into 5 or so overarching periods.
You might consider using the source image as the background for your header too. That way the broader context of the image would be present on all of the pages. It looks like it shows up as the background image sometimes but not when I’m on the homepage.
You can likely include a run through all of the sections in the sidebar instead of the “recent updates” drop down. That would let folks explore the site in more dynamic ways.
When you get to it, it would be really good to include an about page for the site that talks through the what and why of the project. That is a place where you can make some of the case for why this kind of site is useful in helping users engage in close reading of the source.
I read through the example page you have together and it makes for a good read. I think my one primary note on it would be that it would be great to focus a bit more on reading and parsing what is on the document. That is, it largely jumps into a historical narrative, but it would be great if you were consistently drawing readers back to the part of the image that you are engaging with and explain what it is saying.