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St. Mary’s College of Maryland Project Contract – Industrial America Course

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Project Contract

Project Description:

The purpose of the project is to witness the cultural shift in St. Mary’s County during the time of the Industrial Revolution. The project will specifically focus on the failed attempts to evolve the county into an industrial center and follow the populous shift to other greater urban areas like Baltimore.  

The goal of this project is to create a bridge from the past to contemporary times and to make the Industrial Revolution of St. Mary’s County relevant to people of today.

The audience of this project will be directed towards academia and scholars ranging from high school to beyond. We hope to catch the interest of the general public, especially the interests of people within the local community (St. Mary’s County/Southern Maryland)

This project is important because it sheds light on a portion of American history that is often overlooked in this part of the country– with such a focus on pre-18th century/colonial history, the Reconstruction and Industrial eras received less focus, though they may in fact have more impact on contemporary society.

Project Plan:

Overall Project design:

We will be focusing on the oyster industry and failed railway system, as well other economic industries and societal institutions, like tobacco production and education.

Omeka layout we will utilize the Seasons format for the project, but changes could be made due to the nature of our research. One idea is to display some sort of map of the area, including the plot of the railway system, along with local historical markers.

Project Organization:

The main focus will be on the local economy and how it affected people and the environment. The railway and the oyster production are highly connected to these thematic concerns and may be linked, so we want to mainly focus on these industries (but our research may pull us in other directions, like for example, education of the era).

We will utilize photos and original legal documents as our main primary sources and scanned images will function as the primary media found on the site. We will strike contracts with the local historical society in order to gain permission.

The narrative arising is that of a failed transition from Antebellum Southern society to a rapidly industrializing civilization; many of the economic components we are detailing end in failure, in a part of the state whose population declined or stagnated during this time period.

Item Description:    

Metadata fields will be recorded initially through an Excel spreadsheet or otherwise notes before being transferred into Omeka.

Project technologies:

Our project will mainly be built in Omeka. We will utilize programs like Photoshop and Paint.net to fix images that we record, and we will save JPEG and tiff files as necessary. Google Drive will be utilized in order to communicate and collaborate, storing copies of our image files for joint access. When creating interactive portions of our digital project, like the proposed map, we will use an online resource like Mapbox or Tableau.

Project Timeline:

    • February 11th: Draft of contract due
    • February 25th: Final contract due
    • Week of February 22nd-26th: Make multiple visits to St. Mary’s Historical Society Archives, St. Mary’s College of Maryland Archives
    • February 29th-4th Will make trip to Historic St. Mary’s City and St. Mary’s Historical Society
    • March 7th-11th Calvert Marine Museum in Solomon’s Island
    • March 12th-21st Spring Break  
    • Narrative Completed 25th
    • Metadata completed 24th  
    • About Page/Contributor Page Completed March 25th
    • Preliminary editing of Site Completed March 27th
    • March 29: Draft of digital project  
    • Editing Will be Reviewed Again:Overall design reviewed, language and grammatics finishing additions to research will be accounted for by April 19th
    • April 21: Final digital project due



We will split the archival research evenly, but the research will be divided by subject. Rebecca will focus on the railway and schools, while Amanda will focus on the oyster and tobacco industry. Uploads and  Mapping/Timeline will be a joint effort. Text will be developed for site based on topical sections.

Scanning, Item Prep and Metadata will be another shared process with the various trips to differing institutions.

Rebecca will lead on the web design aspects of the digital project creation, while Amanda will take more of a lead on item digitization. Writing and interactive element work (i.e. timelines, maps) will split evenly, though Rebecca will be focusing on narrative creation.

We will communicate via Google Drive, Facebook messenger and Google Hangouts. We will share material via Google Drive.