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Syllabus – Industrial America Course


COPLAC Digital Liberal Arts
HIST 1870
Spring 2016
Tuesday/Thursday, 2:00-3:15 EST


Carey Heatherly, MLIS, Associate Professor, University Archivist, Milner Archives and Special Collections, University of Montevallo

Deborah Tritt, MLIS, MSIT, Assistant Professor, Instruction/Reference Librarian and Archivist, Gregg-Graniteville Library, University of South Carolina Aiken

Office Hours:

Professor Heatherly: Monday – 2:00-6:00 EST; or by appointment.

Professor Tritt: Wednesday – 10:00-12:00 EST; or by appointment

Faculty contact information will be sent to students via email.

Course Description:

By bringing the stories of individuals, communities, and companies to the forefront, the course will reveal the industrialization of an expanding America during the Second Industrial Revolution, circa 1870-1914. Issues such as population and community growth, social and worker welfare, and transportation coincide with these boons of technology and evolving industry. While this era and its issues are often broadly covered in texts, this course will offer local perspectives by delving into regional collections of primary resources. Industrialization and urbanization reshaped the American experience, but often missing is the micro-level perspective. Students will conduct research and create digital projects to tell the stories of their communities during the Second Industrial Revolution. The course will provide opportunities to curate and communicate local and regional history in a digital medium and encourage critical thinking about the digital liberal arts.

Course Objectives:

Students in this seminar will acquire the following professional skills:

– Plan and execute a digital history project.
– Gain an understanding of public history.
– Utilize archival research methods.
– Employ technologies to digitize and present archival materials and context online.
– Understand copyright and the public domain.
– Create digital object metadata.
– Communicate and collaborate with peers in an online environment.

Course Requirements:

Every student will accomplish the following:

  1. Digital project contract (5%)
  2. Digital history final project (50%)
  3. Oral presentation of final digital history project (10%)
  4. Class participation (15%) – Includes blogging and regular presentations to the class.
  5. Mini-assignments (20%) – Includes peer review, metadata activity, evaluation of existing digital projects, timeline/mapping activity

Required Texts:

Cohen, Daniel, J. and Rosenzweig, Roy. Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.  Also available online at http://chnm.gmu.edu/digitalhistory/.

Hayes, Samuel P. The Response to Industrialism: 1885-1914. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,  2nd ed., 1995.

Other readings for this semester will be available online.


Final grades will be based on the quality of your efforts in the completion of the course requirements listed above. Unsatisfactory performance will be reported mid-semester to your advisor on your home campus.  The seminar instructors, Professor Carey Heatherly and Professor Deborah Tritt, will transmit the final grade to your advisor, and she or he will enter the grade using an independent study option at your home campus.

Assignments are considered late if turned in or posted anytime after the due date. Late projects will be penalized one half letter grade per day.

Academic Conduct:

Academic integrity is expected of all students. Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated. Should you cheat or plagiarize in this class, you will fail, and the seminar instructors will report the incident to the liaison on your home campus.


If you receive services through your Office of Disability Resources and require accommodations for this class, please speak with us as soon as possible to discuss your approved accommodation needs. We will need a copy of your accommodation letter. We will hold any information you share with us in the strictest confidence unless you give us permission to do otherwise. If you need accommodations, please consult with your Office of Disability Resources about the appropriate documentation of a disability.

Class Attendance & Participation:

Students are expected to attend all class sessions or view the class sessions online. Furthermore, students are to read all assigned texts, actively participate in class discussions and respond to classmates (via blogs and in-class). Excessive unexcused absences will impact your overall grade in this class. For each unexcused absence after the first, your grade will be reduced by one half letter grade per instance.

Distance Learning:

This distance learning course will use a distance learning conferencing tool called Blue Jeans. Prior to the first class, students will be contacted by a representative from UNC Asheville’s distance learning team to set up their access to the online course. Students will need access to a computer, microphone, and webcam.
Teaching and learning in a distance environment is a unique experience. To make the most of this experience, it is critical that you take the initiative to be an active learner.

Submitting Assignments:

For all assignments, unless otherwise instructed, students will email Professors Heatherly and Tritt with assignments attached. All citations in coursework should adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition, notes and bibliography style.

Brief Statement on Course Structure:

In addition to the  syllabus, this statement will offer an example of how the course will look on a daily/weekly basis and a word about the semester-long progression.

Overall course:

The professors will facilitate digital learning and offer a macro view of the epoch. The post Civil War to WWI era is the one in which the US grew exponentially. Through course readings, lectures, and discussions, the professors will set the stage for major themes and events, while also advising the class on how promote primary sources by using various digital tools. As students, you will provide the micro-level view through research and narrative.


A typical class session will be a combination of lecture and discussion based on our readings. Each week, readings will be from articles, a chapter from each book. Additionally, blogging, tweeting, and uploading to your other web presences will be required. At the end of class on Thursday, students will be given weekend assignments to flex those digital capabilities.


Over the course of the semester, the class will transition from a formal lecture/discussion model to a more collective engagement/reporting structure.


Course Schedule

This is the basic schedule of the class and is subject to change. See the Course Schedule page for the updated schedule.

January 12th: Syllabus/course overview. Class technology. Introduction to the Digital


January 14th: Archival research overview. Introduction to Omeka.

January 19th: Digital History projects and our digital project.

January 21st: Overview of digitization.

January 26th: Macro history of the Industrial Revolution.

January 28th: Macro history of the Industrial Revolution.

February 2nd: Executing a digital project.

February 4th: Macro history of the Industrial Revolution.

February 9th: Omeka (Metadata).

February 11th: Macro history of the Industrial Revolution.

February 16th: Omeka (Creating Exhibits and designing for the web).

February 18th: Digital Projects, questions, concerns. Metadata review. Mini-assignment due.

February 23rd : No formal class. Finalize project contract.

February 25th: Digital preservation, technical obsolescence, and stewardship. Final contract due.

March 1st: Digital Exhibits. TimelineJS/Google map/G Fusion Map.

March 3rd: Designing for the web. Public History. Mini-assignment due.

March 8th: No formal class. Work on digital project.

March 10th: Writing in a digital age/writing for the web. Digital History in context.

March 15th: No formal class. Work on digital project.

March 17th: Share project updates. 

March 22nd: No formal class. Work on digital project.

March 24th: Share project updates.

March 29th: No formal class. 

March 31st: Digital Project peer review. Complete Digital History Project Draft due.

April 5th: No formal class. Work on digital project.

April 7th: Share project updates. Mini-assignment due.

April 12th: No formal class. Work on digital project.

April 14th: Share project updates.

April 19th: No formal class. Work on digital project.

April 21st: Share project updates.

April 26th: Final Projects due

April 28th: Presentations. Reflection paper/blog due.

Syllabus update: January 19, 2016.