The History & Legacy of UMW

UMW Digital History Archive

Explore HCC

The Explore HCC digital history site serves as a central site that documents both the history of the Hurley Convergence Center (HCC) and the features and services now located within the building. Unlike many of the other sites the digital preservation team had to look at, this site contained more minor formatting issues than anything […]

The Explore HCC digital history site serves as a central site that documents both the history of the Hurley Convergence Center (HCC) and the features and services now located within the building. Unlike many of the other sites the digital preservation team had to look at, this site contained more minor formatting issues than anything else. The site also features a home page that was not accessible through the menu, however the biggest concern we had for this site was that the timeline documenting the construction of the HCC failed to load. Other than the timeline, the changes we made were all related to textual formatting issues related to the site’s theme and the occasional missing link.

The problem we ran into with formatting was easy to figure out, and even easier to fix. When writing a post or page in WordPress, you have a title field followed by blocks where you place your content. The title field in WordPress is usually static. Some themes automatically center it, while others leave it off to one side. Depending on how you have your site’s sidebars formatted, which is the areas you include widgets, the title may refuse to follow the formatting applied to the rest of the page. This is what happened to many of the pages created by the Explore HCC team, and one of the more glaring issues that appeared to us. Since you cannot change how the title appears, we had to delete the titles on these pages and then add a special text block that was resized to appear like the title did in the center of the page. This means the title is slightly further down on these pages than it normally is, but it’s still the same size and fully centered like the content found on the rest of the page. It was then found that deleting the title from the page also deletes the name off of the menu bar, and we had to manually change the names of the menus to avoid confusion.

While this issue was not one that was hard to fix, it became tedious after it was discovered this happened on multiple pages. The following pages were all affected by the same formatting issue: Student Resources, Building the HCC, Timeline, Interviews, and Credits. Subsequently, all menu links had to be renamed once this formatting issue was corrected. While this was being done, we also made sure to include the link to the site’s home page in the menu, since it was not there beforehand.

The single major problem with this site came in the form of its timeline. The Explore HCC team had created a timeline using TimelineJS to document the history of the Convergence Center. This site was created in 2016 and at some point between then and 2022 the Google Spreadsheet containing the TimelineJS project was deleted, and there was not a transcript to link to regarding the information it had contained. Thankfully UMW’s Office of the Provost has substantial documentation available to the public related to the HCC’s construction. We discovered a time-lapse video of the building’s construction, which was added to the Timeline page in place of the actual timeline. Furthermore, we provided a link directly to the Office of the Provost’s Convergence Center History page, which documents many of the events the Explore HCC team likely included on their own timeline before it was deleted.

Here are some before and after shots of the site. To view the full-size screenshot, click on the image of your choosing and it will open in a new window. From there you can view the screenshot like you would a normal webpage.

If you would like to view the Explore HCC site for yourself, please click here or navigate to the site’s landing page from the dropdown menus at the top of this page.

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