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Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Project Contract – Industrial America Course

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Project Contract

Project Description

The purpose of our digital project is to shed light on how the Second Industrial Revolution,  between 1870 and 1914, impacted life in North Adams. Our goal for this project is to have this history and relevant archival materials readily available to anyone in need of it. We would like our material and site to be as scholarly as possible, but also easy for the general public to understand and navigate. Though industrialization is a key part of the city’s history, many do not know much about it. This project is important because it will give those who use and read it a taste of North Adams history and hopefully encourage them to search out more information and material.

Project Plan

The topical sections of our site will include The Hoosac Tunnel, the textile and shoe industry, the separation of North Adams from neighboring Adams, and a map section which identifies locations of significant events from North Adams’ industrial history and can be use to navigate to pages or artifacts corresponding to the events.

We hope to make the site well organized, easy to navigate, but striking in design. Each section will be organized in a chronological fashion, and as there many elements to each of our topics there will also be sub-sections about specific events within that topic. These pages will also be accessible via the map navigation page, which organizes events or topics by location. The main page, or homepage, will contain an introduction to the site and acknowledgements to the North Adams and Pittsfield Public Libraries, and the North Adams Historical Society.

The secondary sources we intend to use include histories on North Adams provided by the North Adams Historical Society, along with books found in local libraries. The primary sources we intend to use include Sanborn maps, other maps of the city from throughout the period, photographs, a stereoscope with accompanying photos, and newspaper clippings. We will include scans of photographs, clippings and anything else we are able to scan, along with an interactive map of the city and timeline. We plan to obtain permissions to use these items by speaking with the head archivist or those in charge of the collection and having them sign the form we have been provided, unless they have their own form they would prefer us to use.

Metadata will be included for each item, including the title, subject, description, date, rights and type. We will have a bibliography section, an about section acknowledging COPLAC and the Teagle Foundation, and also archivists, librarians and anyone who helps us along the way.  


Team members, both living on campus, are in constant contact with each other over email and will have at least one meeting weekly in person to talk about the project. The work division will be as follows


  • Writing sections: landing page, About Kate, shoe factory strike and “Celestials”, bibliography, Hoosac Tunnel Nitroglycerin factory, index of factories in North Adams, acknowledgements page
  • Photographing
  • Metadata


  • Site construction/coding
  • Writing sections: About Mina, Hoosac Tunnel introduction, Hoosac Tunnel construction and technology, The Bloody Pit, map navigation page, acknowledgements page
  • Scanning
  • Metadata

The writing of metadata will be evenly split between both Kate and Mina.


February 24th-North Adams Library Photography/Scanning Day

February 28th-North Adams Historical Society Photographing/Scanning Day

February 29th-Freel Library Photography/Scanning Day

March 1st through 10th – background research, notes on secondary sources

March 11th-Photographing/Scanning/Compiling sources will be finished no later than this date

March 13th- Begin rough drafts of writing sections (including about pages, landing page)

March 11th-Site construction to begin

March 24th-Metadata will be completed

March 25th-Rough drafts of writing sections will be completed

March 28th- Map navigation page completed

March 29th-Complete Digital History Project DRAFT due

April 1st- Collect peer reviews/feedback on site

April 10th- Site aesthetics and design finalized

April 18th- Finishing touches, acknowledgements page

April 21st-Project Due