Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Final Project

In which I make a plan for another Omeka site.

The current EQ Breeds Homepage

Because I am an audit-only student, and am currently in near-panic mode with my thesis (to be fair, panic mode never truly begins nor ends, when you’re in graduate studies), I unfortunately did not have time to do a full-scale Final Project as outlined in my Proposal post (I am not getting graded for this class and my thesis project is the final boss of grades, so has to take priority. 🙁 ) Grant very kindly suggested I make a post about the work I plan to do for the development version of the page for my Research Assistant work, instead.

I currently work as a Research Assistant with the English Department for Dr. Guest, whose work focuses heavily on horses. Recently, she asked me to do a revamp of the Omeka homepage for the EQ Breeds project, which she is working on with Dr. Monica Mattfeld. The project, in a nutshell, is a compilation of exhibits featuring numerous horse breeds and their respective histories. Currently, there are a number of pages completed via UNBC’s ArcGIS portal, with an additional few exclusively available on the EQ Breeds Omeka website — not every breed exhibit is linked to the Omeka site yet, simply because as things keep moving and changing with the site, the plan for the best way to display said exhibits has also changed.

This is where I come in.

Completely by chance, nearly out of my depth, but excited to be here.

The ArcGIS Brumby Exhibit

The plan for the EQ Breeds site is, at base level, to streamline the links to each horse breed exhibit. It was originally thought that the breed exhibits would be both developed and displayed on the EQ Breeds Omeka site, but Dr. Guest and other Assistants before me (praise be) found that the ArcGIS system worked better for putting together the exhibits. Therefore, the new plan is that the Omeka site will be, essentially, the house, and will hold all of the doors to each exhibit.

For example, last semester I was in charge of putting together the exhibit for the Brumby horse. Dr. Guest prepared the script for the page, adapted from an original work by Iza Menzies; my job was to find relevant images (and videos, if available) to accompany the text and make the exhibit visually appealing. To create the exhibit, I used ArcGIS. Once the ArcGIS page was complete, it was “published,” and the next step was to create a button with a link on the EQ Breeds Site. (If you go to, and click through to the “Exhibits” page, you will find a link to the ArcGIS webpage for the Brumby there.)

A big source of, uh, stress, was the worry I would irrevocably damage the site while trying to update it, but Grant created a development site for me to work with ( THIS. WAS. HUGE. I DID NOT KNOW YOU COULD DO THIS.

The site allows me to do what I want, within reason, and once everyone is happy with the way it looks, it will be cloned as the actual site.

My plan is to update the Theme of the site, to start; since I don’t have access to the CPanel for the UNBC-owned Omeka site, Grant set me up with FTP access through Cyberduck, which gives me remote access to the inner workings of the EQ Breeds website (but not the keys to the entire UNBC digital universe, thank gawd). Unfortunately, it has since been revealed that Cyberduck does not like me, so Grant ended up giving me access via WebDisk(WebDAV), instead.

I would gladly explain more about Cyberduck, WebDAV, and FTPs, but I am, uh. Still learning. Give me some time and once I am past the fear stage, I’ll get back to you. For now, I am hyper focused on updating the Theme, which I DO understand, and will be taking baby steps from there. -nervous laugh-

The overall plan for the site is, as I have mentioned, fairly simple — basically, there are too many layers to work through in order to get to the breed exhibits, so the plan is to re-envision the homepage as a sort of hub for the links to the exhibits, instead of an empty “Welcome” page. Dr. Guest gave me a couple of example websites to work off of, so I have been drafting (extremely simplistic; I am not an artist) ideas to help me figure out how to translate them to an Omeka site. She also suggested that the “About the Project” page be adapted into a Storymap, which is especially exciting now that I have taken Digital Humanities. (On that same note, I am sure there are numerous possibilities using Timelines!)

I will also be making sure that the formatting and font don’t vary throughout the site, which includes ensuring that buttons all look the same for related topics, and that thumbnails are of a consistent size — currently, the site is insisting on making the thumbnails all look different, and it is driving me insane. All in all, the goal is to make the site as visually appealing as possible.

I am very excited to play around with the site — it feels like digital scrapbooking, which I find really fun!


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