Reading Reflections

I was intrigued by all of the readings this week. I started with The Beginning of the Road article. The story of bridging one person’s life-long interest and information gathering with another’s technology expertise was inspiring. Of course, Hawkins and Bailey are on the grand side of the scale in terms of resources, but our projects with our mobile devices are a start. I’m not as old as Hawkins, but I share some of his sense that there is a lot of story collecting to do and the people with those stories won’t be around forever.
 The Shaping the West Project brought to mind a book I read recently called Wondrous Contrivances: Technology at the Threshold by Merritt Ierley. The author looked into how the telegraph, telephone, rail travel, bicycles and the automobile, etc. impacted and changed people’s sense of time. I’ve also been streaming on Netflix a newish BBC television series Downton Abbey thathas shown how the automobile and telephone changed the lives of the people in a small town in pre-WWI England. 

 I spent a lot of time looking around the site for the Center for History and New Media. Under the “research” tab I got caught up wanting to read the whole selection Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web because it started out with a great explanation of pros and cons of digital media. I stopped at the end of the introduction and realized I have to work on not getting so sucked in when I’m supposedly browsing. Then I jumped to the “exhibitions” tab and wandered around The Lost Museum, for way too long, which recreates P.T. Barnum’s museum in New York City that was lost in a fire in the 1800s.

On late Friday afternoon I went to hear two speakers brought in by the Boise State Group for Early Modern Studies. Both speakers had wonderful presentations about how knowledge was made public in the 17thcentury. They both had really great images on Power Point to go with their talks. I found myself smiling and thinking how much their presentations would be enhanced if the images were 3D or more interactive.

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