Prototype Developer, WordPress Timeline for the Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada Project

Prototype Timeline, Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada

In 2011, I contributed a web-based timeline to the Living Archive on Eugenics in Western Canada Project led by Dr. Rob Wilson at the University of Alberta.

This contribution began as a Community-Based Learning partnership within a course, HUCO 530: Project Design and Management in Humanities Computing. I collaborated with fellow student Megan Sellmer at this stage, and together we developed a jQuery-based timeline as a proof of concept using the TimeGlider timeline application.

Over Summer 2011, I continued to develop the timeline as an intern. To accommodate the project’s need for a more involved, richly interlinked and multimedia-ready representation of the history of eugenics, I switched focus from a timeline application to the WordPress platform.

For the timeline blog, I converted each entry to a blog post, expanded the text, and embedded images and video. I took advantage of WordPress’ custom timestamps to arrange entries according to their closest known date of occurrence, and used the tagging function not only to mark posts according to key concepts, but to supplement the archive function by indexing entries in five-year spans. I also provided a guide to WordPress and the conventions I had used to the project team, and guided my fellow interns in contributing content to the site.

This blog, though no longer in use, has become the basis for a custom timeline currently under development within the Living Archives Project.