The Living Historian: Keeping History Alive

Sunrise at WS Hancock Monument,
East Cemetery Hill, Gettysburg, PA, Summer 2019

Digital Archive Project

Note: Due to a small programming snafu, the links to my project are broken, and have been lost. The links to Omeka S still work!

For this project in my digital humanities class, I designed a digital archive using Omeka S. This software is powerful for generating item collections and digital exhibits (I feel quite adept at it, but also recognize that I have just scratched the surface of it!). I used it to design a digital archive showing Loyola University Chicago’s hidden Catholic character. This theme is important to me because it influences Loyola’s mission and values. Additionally, there is an immediate physical presence on Loyola’s campus through the presence of the chapel, various statues, and works of art. For more information about this, please see my Introduction & About page. Additionally, please use this as an opportunity to see the whole exhibit.

The pictures I chose were taken on my cellphone. These pictures represent moments when I was wandering around campus, and noticed something beautiful about how the hidden Catholicism interacted with the space of the school. The videos represent major events that happen at Loyola that people might not notice. The video format allows people to get a taste of these events. Additionally, they show the influence on the wider culture of Loyola.

Stock image of the “Thanks, Roy” theme from Omeka S.

For the website theme, I used one from Omeka S called “Thanks, Roy“. I used it for two reasons. The first is because of its design: I find it to be clean and visually pleasing. The second is more philosophical. It was named for Roy Rosenzweig, a pioneer in the digital humanities. As the field has advanced, many people have forgotten him. Yet, his silent influence is still present, and this matches the theme of my digital exhibit. To help with this exhibit, I added the Block Plus module. This module offered greater customization capability to the different pages and allowed me to embed the Youtube videos.

Overall, while the exhibit is not very flashy, it accomplished what I set out to do. More importantly, I am familiar with Omeka S. As I mentioned before, it is a powerful software. I hope that I can use it to continue keeping history alive!






4 responses to “Digital Archive Project”

  1. Nikola Kajmakoski Avatar
    Nikola Kajmakoski

    Despite us having different focuses for our respective archives, I think that both touched on similar themes: institutions and their cultures, rituals, and traditions. Particularly, I liked that you drew attention to the spontaneity of the photos you included. It ties in very well with your identity and presentation as a “living historian.” Just as you commented on my own reflection, I do like the simplicity of the presentation: it makes engaging with the materials much easier. Good work!

  2. Harrison Avatar

    I love how your archive really leans into the whole “living” aspect of your brand because the values that were ultimately at the core of Loyola’s founding are still with us today. Just another example of how the past is never truly dead or gone. Great work Brian!

  3. Mazzy Teich Avatar
    Mazzy Teich

    I love the theme. I appreciate that you had to hunt to take these pictures and find the connections to support your theme. I feel I will be looking for these things as well now when I walk on campus. I think the fact that you took these while going about your life pays tribute to your identity as a living historian.

  4. Dariel Chaidez Avatar
    Dariel Chaidez

    I think this is an excellent theme for a project. You did an excellent job of bringing attention to a little spoken of topic that is actually a very prevalent part of campus and campus life. I like that you gave descriptions for each photo, it is a nice touch given that you were also the photographer. Nice work!

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