Team Meeting, 12 December 2012

Allison Marsh, Jennifer Betsworth, Celia James, Caitlin Mans, and Sarah Scripps were present at the meeting.

Caitlin said that she will commence newspaper research next semester. During break, she plans on updating information from Chronicling America onto Omeka.

Jennifer stated that she has completed newspaper research through 1951-1952. She plans on uploading some of her research on Omeka.

Celia stated that she took part in a conference call with Allison, Anjuli, and Claire to discuss the ELE working group at NCPH. The group has three outside participants. The team will send detailed information about ELE to participants in January and will start a separate blog. Celia requested that someone write a learning module on putting things up on Omeka to share with the working group.

Allison will apply for the next NEH round in January by editing our current proposal. She also recommended that team members post their current research onto Omeka. Given that the majority of research the ELE team has conducted is prior to World War II, she suggested working on the research in two phases, with the first phase focusing on our current pre-WWII research and the second phase extending the exhibit into the postwar era. She offered to speak with Caroline Vereen about putting up a draft of the current exhibit script onto Omeka over break.

Sarah is applying for a USC “SPARC” fellowship to get up to $5,000 in seed money for ELE. The fellowship money will be used for expenses such as image rights, travel for research, and hiring a web developer to help us with the website. The application is due January 31.

According to Allison, Katharine Klein has accepted a position at NMAH to work on American Enterprise!!! Way to go, Katharine! Allison says that Katharine would like to work with ELE as part of her job responsibilities.


NCPH Working Group meeting, September 26

Conference call with: Anjuli Grantham, Celia James, Allison Marsh, Claire White

We had a conference call using Wiggio’s FREE conference call set up.  We discussed the Working Group call for discussants, the ongoing ELE project, and our own other work.  Anjuli and Claire were both excited about ELE, but facing ever-changing situations.

  • The Barnauv museum is focusing on the story of a histori murder that happened in the location of the museum.  The motive was a denial of credit.  Anjuli was concerned whether this would still fit the American Enterprise business theme, but we all agreed it was an excellent topic that humanizes business and gives it intrigue.
  • The Nantucket Historical Association’s plan to use a high school’s local history class has some personnel problems – mainly, that the students in this year’s class are much less engaged than in last years and facing some high barriers like illiteracy.  We discussed how perhaps the visual nature of an online exhibit might intrigue them, but it depends on the students’ motivation, ultimately.

We all are looking forward to the working group and we discussed the call for discussants.  The process/timeline for our working group (following NCPH and our own conversation from this meeting) is below.  Also following the post is our call for discussants for the 2013 NCPH Annual Meeting.  It will also be available here:  However, as of this writing, they are not yet posted.  UPDATE:  it is now online!

The working group process goes something like this:

  • October 16-20:  We will be reviewing the discussant applicants.  That is a VERY short window, so we will need all the help we can get.  It has already been shortened by a day as originally the deadline for discussants to apply was October 15.  Assuming this is still the schedule, we have a conference call meeting set up for October 18 at 3:30pm EST.  Celia is in charge of dividing up working group discussant applications and scheduling the conference call.
  • October 20 or after:  We will send the discussants a welcome message, articulating our goals and giving them focused questions to consider.  Allison will write this, asking discussants for their exhibit idea and to give us a list of questions they would like answered, as well as concerns, stumbling blocks, and group problems they see in developing an online exhibit.
  • Early November (our deadline).  They should respond to our welcome message with a case statement of 750-1000 words (NCPH requirement).  We have decided on early November so that it helps us identify what learning modules we should focus on as the school year continues.
  • Mid-November.  We should go over all the case statements and identify common themes, problems, and construct a working group agenda.  At this point we will set-up a separate (but linked) blog for working group discussion.  We decided on a blog because this will help us continue our “learning in public” agenda.  Celia will set up the blog.
  • Late-November through March.  We will moderate a discussion on the blog about the online exhibit and the commonalities we found.  We are welcome to assign readings or other items as we see fit in the interest of addressing the issue of developing online exhibits.
  • Wednesday, April 17.  Working group at NCPH Annual Meeting in Ottawa.  We meet in person to go over the work we have done over the previous 5 months an present it to the NCPH community at large.

Exhibiting Local Enterprise:  Developing Online Exhibits    [WED 3-5pm]

Facilitators:         Celia James, University of South Carolina; Anjuli Grantham, Baranov Museum; Claire White, Nantucket Historical Association; Allison Marsh, University of South Carolina;;;

How do you reach audiences at your small museum or local historical institution?  How can the digital world help you do so?  What is involved in the process of creating online exhibits?  How do institutions with limited staff and little or no technical support tackle such a project?  This working group will consider these questions by using, evaluating, and refining “Exhibiting Local Enterprise” (ELE), a series of learning tools designed to help history institutions create online exhibits to showcase their local business history.  ELE leads participants through the process of guided inquiry.  The theme of the conference, the significance of audiences, is at the core of the discussion, as ELE must respond to several distinct audiences: the staff and volunteers at history institutions who are struggling to establish a digital presence, the local audiences of history institutions, and the global one established via the internet.  The learning modules increase institutions capacity to make informed decisions, create quality on-line exhibitions and to share local business history to different audiences through the digital realm.

We are seeking professionals at history institutions who are interested in exhibiting local business history online but do not have the knowledge or technical skills to do so, as well as professionals at small museums and historical societies who are in the process of doing so or perhaps have recently created such a digital project.  Discussants will analyze the particulars of how ELE addresses these concerns and how well it guides institutional staff through the process.  ELE was created to fulfill a mission to “learn in public” by documenting the experience of graduate students during the creation of a digital business history exhibit of cotton mills in Columbia, South Carolina and then using that experience to educate professionals at small history institutions.  ELE is a product of the University of South Carolina’s Public History Program, in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Baranov Museum in Kodiak, Alaska, and the Nantucket Historical Association.  The online exhibits created for this project are expected to bring local voices to the Smithsonian’s national exhibition American Enterprise, scheduled to open in 2015.

Newspaper Update

This weekend I was able to get through the end of 1951. The Pacific Mills strike that year finally came to an end after 10 weeks. I found a few articles describing some violence – mostly attacks on mill workers – that might be of interest. Toward the end, the Columbia Record posted an editorial asking for the end of the strike based on its negative effect upon the town. Without 2,300+ people spending money as they normally would, it is not difficult to imagine a dip in the local economy! A few days before the strike was finally resolved, Pacific Mills posted a full-page message in the paper.

After the strike, I got the sense that the Pacific company and community were trying to stay out of the news. One article mentions that Pacific’s low earnings. It was a poor year for Olympia’s sports teams, but I did clip an article that gives a sense of how vicious some inter-Columbia sports matches could be.

As usual, I clipped many articles about issues facing specific S.C. mills or mills in the southeast more generally. One I found particularly interesting discussed the trend of mill workers buying their housing from mills. Another mentions textile industry concerns about a drop in the production of mill machinery.

For now, I plan to stop doing newspaper research. Now that I’m gainfully employed (!) and live farther from downtown, it is more difficult to do it as often as I’d like. I plan to complete a learning module on newspaper research (online and microfilm) by 10/5. I’ve discussed uploading articles to Omeka with Celia, and I plan to start working on that in October. I hope to attend a meeting and see you all soon!

Hours: 4

Meeting Minutes, September 18 2012

In attendance:  Allison M, Caitlin M, Caroline V, Celia J

Possible other people to be involved

Evan K is interested in doing GIS for the project (Allison)

  • Can learn some new tasks for this
  • We will need to find and gather materials – we give them to him so he can figure out what he can create
  • Requested:  assemble all the files we know of in different ways
  • Would like to start with an aerial map of the mill (Kate Boyd at TCL)
  • Other: Sanburn map, current floorplan if possible, architectural drawings from the Smithsonian, collection of street-by-street pictures if it includes this area?
  • As many layers as we can get would be intersting (i.e. birdseye map from before the mill)  because we and Evan aren’t sure what can be done yet and things can always be taken away
  • Task:  volunteer to do a few hours of research to collect maps:  Sarah 
  • Allison thinks that Smithsonian may only have the architectural drawing of the Columbia mill, not Olympia — either try to schedule a DC trip this fall or Allison can do it this spring  post on Allison’s task list for now

Allison B also expressed interest in doing GIS work for us; is in GIS class right now but class she is in does not have a final project now (Allison M)

haven’t spoke in detail not sure if this is something that Allison and Evan would collaborate on or if there would be separate projects

  • possible separate project:  if only architectural drawing is Columbia mills, maybe someone could work on that  — question of what is our scope

Angi W (Allison)

  • wants to do oral histories for us
  • meeting with Allison Thursday
  • working on her thesis – (Sarah:  on adaptive reuse of buildings, incl. State Museum/Columbia mill)
  • first oral history person


  • we need to contact – if still interested in oral history, him and Angi would be the team

Meg S

  • not sure about this semester
  • maybe coming to meetings can be involvement?

Research update

  • TASK:  Sarah will update Omeka; let Allison know once some has been done so she can get image permissions (Allison will then make public)
  • Katharine K is interested in helping
  • Will update task spreadsheet (on  ELE Dropbox/Admin)
  • (Caitlin)  Caroliniana may be a good research topic for someone TASK:  ALLISON
  • trying to figure out a good way to have good background research
  • Nice to know what was specifically looked at
  • Going to try to use Omeka as a database of all our research (need to have some way to keep track of research hat has been done)
  • Jennifer won’t be able to continue working on newspapers like she was now that she’s employed – going to ask her to put newspaper research on Omeka and write a learning module that we would then test when putting other research in.

Digital update (Caroline)

  • worked on text of the frontpage.  Text needs work; should be short.
  • Other pages have some text explaining what is or will be there
  • Put up current learning modules
  • TASK:  Celia update LM text updates about what they are, what the testing process is, etc.  Let know by Friday any changes may be made (HTML, comments)
  • First two need to be editted more; Blog and American Enterprise have stronger language and will need less editing.
  • TASK:  Allison be in charge of getting American Enterprise to Peter
  • TASKS assigned for text editing
  • Can we get rid of the User Login?  Going to check at the workshop
  • Contact Us at the bottom of every page
  • save files to ELE’s Dropbox: Digital/Text for Webpage


  • yay, we’re accepted!
  • email was confusing, but assume working group will work the way they have in the past:  NCPH will post and people will apply to us to be a part of it
  • There are a lot of ways to structure; need to decide as a team how to do it
  • Another meeting with Anjuli and Claire next week – before meeting
  • TASK:  Celia – contact A and C about a meeting next week
  • Funding questions about NCPH – department usually helps out


Next meeting:  Tuesday October 2, 1pm in Hollingsworth


Meeting Minutes, 7 September 2012

Allison Marsh, Caroline Vereen, Caitlin Mans, and Sarah Scripps met in Gambrell 248A at 3:30pm.

Caroline showed the team the new ELE website. Allison provided Caroline with a list of recommendations for editing the site, including adding links to the top of the page for exhibits and learning modules, drafting additional text on the main page, and increasing the font size of the ELE tagline. Allison and Caroline plan on attending the Droople seminar later this month.

Sarah provided an overview of potential research roles for team members, including oral history, objects, images, maps, archival records, and newspapers. Caitlin agreed to review The State and Columbia Record as well as Library of Congress digitized newspapers. Sarah will begin researching objects at The State Museum and ask Katharine to begin researching materials at other institutions.

Allison asked the team to consider possible additional members, including Brian, Meg, Laura F., and Jen. Allison will also speak to the oral history class about ELE.

Sarah and Caroline tentatively agreed to host a table at the Digital Humanities Open House on Tuesday, September 18. Allison will email the DHC to reserve a table.

The team agreed to switch meeting times to Tuesday mornings at 10am and try to limit meetings to 45 minutes. The next meeting is set for Tuesday, September 18 at 10am in Hollings Library.

Total team hours: 4