Historic Preservation in the Digital Age …

Before I offer an anatomy of Mario Bava’s oeuvre (which will be available in weekly installments each and every Tuesday), let me digress a little and discuss some other, rather different, concerns that have occupied me as of late.

One project in particular that I have been working on in my new found home at the University of Mary Washington has been the integration of instructional technology into the Historic Preservation department. In fact, this is one of those departments that was ready-made for a guy with my hopes and aspirations. The scholars in Historic Preservation collect historical and archaeological research data relevant to the mid-atlantic region (particularly the Fredericksburg area) that open up myriad questions – many dealing with the quotidian practices of slavery in this region of Virginia – for scholars to begin analyzing and interpreting.

One of the questions that faces me in my new role as an instructional technology specialist (ITS for short) is how can I begin to help this department manage and publish this research easily and efficiently for a broader online audience. Currently much of this research is languishing in the labyrinth-like network-drive systems in place, effectively robbing an entire academic audience access to a plethora of public documents detailing the essential minutia of this history-rich region of early America. In fact, this particular task of rethinking how to present the scholarly research for this particular department, ultimately begs the larger question of presenting the work of the UMW academic community at large to the virtual world.

But it may be helpful if I return to the foundation already poured and begin reframing these larger concerns within some smaller “grass roots” projects that begin to resonate with the possibilities of an academic server at UMW. In fact, DTLT is working on web-based teaching tools such as wikis, blogs, and content libraries with isolated departments through an off-site hosting service (Bluehost) that opens up a space for creativity, discovery and potential (see the smoothelephant blog for more details). Nonetheless, this temporary hosting solution will not solve the long term instructional goals of a liberal arts educational environment that truly needs to bring its research, teaching, and learning possibilities online for its various departments to help ensure the future health of its academic community.

With this in mind, my next few blogs will begin to chronicle some really exciting and enjoyable efforts my colleagues and I are taking in this direction – keeping in mind, of course, that all roads lead back to Mario Bava!

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3 Responses to Historic Preservation in the Digital Age …

  1. Jerry says:

    Welcome to the UMW blogroll! We are happy you are here.

    We need someone to shake things up a bit here – make us think differently about issues, work, team, and be impatient about it.

    Since Derek Jeter is not available, I guess you will have to do. 🙂

  2. Martha says:

    Welcome to our little corner of the blogosphere, Jim!

    . . .that woman up there is really creeping me out, though. . .

  3. Flower says:

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