I am excited to announce the launch of my 2017 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowship project, the Directory of Oneota Scholars.
Project URL: dos.matrix.msu.edu
Upper Mississippian Oneota sites date from circa AD 1000 to the mid-1700s and are known mainly for their presence in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, but sites are also found in Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Indiana, and Michigan. There is a great deal of variation among Oneota sites, depending on time of occupation, region occupied, and resources being exploited.
Because of this variety seen in 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. My Cultural Heritage Informatics project serves as a directory of these scholars and lists their names, publications, areas of research interest, current institutions of employment, and in some cases their website.
This goal of this directory is to provide graduate, undergraduate, and individuals with Master’s degrees or PhDs with a resource for finding other scholars studying the Oneota. As a PhD Student that studies the Oneota cultural groups in central Illinois, it is particularly important to me to gather all of these individuals names and information together as I had a hard time finding citations about the Oneota and knowing who is currently studying the Oneota.
Populating the Directory:
Information contained within the directory was obtained using publicly accessible information available through public sources such as department profiles, conference programs, staff directories, and basic google searches. Because of this, some scholars may not be included on the site as current information on these individuals could not be accessed. Some scholars did not have all of the same information accessible, so these categories were left out of the directory. Individuals that I could not find any current information on and/or had only one publications were excluded from the directory.
The website consists of 6 pages; the ‘Home’ page provides a brief description of the purpose of the project and how to use it. The ‘Contact’ page provides my contact information for individuals interested in updating their entry or adding themselves to the directory, and a note about privacy. Scholars are listed in alphabetical order by last name on each of four directory pages: Academics/Professionals, Graduate Students, Emeritus, and Deceased. These pages are accessible on all of the other pages via a drop-down menu underneath ‘Directory’ on the menu. Each page of the website has a static navigation bar and footer and a standardized style, in terms of colors and fonts used.
Building the Website:
I used a simple Bootstrap theme to build the website, but made multiple alterations to this theme to fit the needs of the project. I added a navigation menu with a dropdown option for the 4 pages of the directory, an anchored menu at the top that allows users to navigate to different letters of the alphabet corresponding to the last names of the scholars, a footer with the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative logo, and an option for users to scroll back-to-top when they are done looking at information for certain scholars. I started off planning to only have one directory page with all scholars contained within, however, I found that it would make more sense to separate individuals by current status, i.e. whether they were graduate students, emeritus faculty, in academia or professional positions, or deceased.
I plan to revise the site as new or updated information on scholars becomes available. I had 14 scholars that had 2+ publications that referenced the Oneota cultural group, but I did not include these individuals in the site as I could not find any current information about them. I will continue to research these scholars and hope to add them to the directory in the future. I also plan on updating the directory in the future as new publications come out and new conference programs are available. I have also thought about reorganizing some of the directory or creating a new page that lists research interests and lists scholars with those interests under each.