Project Description:

My dissertation research focuses on Oneota populations living in Illinois. Artifacts attributed to the Oneota have been found primarily in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Because of the variety of Oneota sites and the different geographic areas where artifacts have been found, it is difficult to parse out who is currently studying or has previously studied the Oneota and what has been published on Oneota archaeology. For this years CHI Project I will create a website that serves as a directory of these scholars and lists their publications, areas of interest, and current institutions of employment. This directory will be used by graduate, undergraduate, and PhDs trying to find other scholars studying the Oneota.


The Directory of Oneota Scholars will consist of a database of Oneota scholars, including their names, images, institution of employment (or entity), research interests, and a list of publications for each. There will be three main pages: the home page, with an introduction to the project; directory page, with the actual list of scholars; and a contact page, with information on how to be added to the database.


This project will be targeted at advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and scholars in the field of archaeology and will focus on spreading awareness of scholars of Oneota Archaeology and allow individuals interested in Oneota archaeology to find other scholars with similar research interests and the publications by these scholars.

Functionality and Technology

I will create a website using a basic bootstrap theme. I’m still trying to decide what approach for building and displaying the database I will use, but one option is to create the database using Airtable, an online database builder, which will be embedded within my website. This program serves as a simpler way of creating a database. With Airtable, I will need to build a front-end framework for viewing and pulling the information from the database onto my website. Another option for creating the directory will be to save the database information as a CSV or JSON file that is all pulled into Github pages, making it easier to create the actual website.

I will also attempt to create a search function for visitors to investigate the scholars by location, interests, and other criteria, but may need to save this aspect of the project for later. I will build the search on the front end of the site to query the database through the web-page.

Data, Information, and Content

Information contained in the database will include: the scholar’s name, current status or institution (emeritus, faculty, grad student, or deceased), foci of research, and a list of their publications, specifically pertaining to Oneota research, and contact information (such as email) for the scholar. I will also designate which region of the Midwest the scholars work in. The database will be created by reviewing conference programs for the Society for American Archaeology and the Midwest Archaeological Conference meetings as well as basic literature searches for scholars. Individuals that presented papers or posters on the Oneota, will be added to the list and their information will be researched separately. Current PhD Students, emeritus faculty, and deceased scholars will also be included, but their status will be noted in the directory.

If you have any tips for building and embedding a database within a website or if you are interested in being included in the database, please send me an email silvani1 [at] msu [dot] edu or comment on this blog post.