The Historic Buildings of the University of Mary Washington digital history site is one of the earliest digital history projects to originate from the Adventures in Digital History class. The site was created in 2012, shortly after the University of Mary Washington’s centennial anniversary, and serves as a timeline of the school’s changing social and academic atmosphere by exploring the historic buildings on campus.
This site proved to be an interesting one for the digital preservation team. Despite being one of the oldest sites we had to work with, it was also the easiest to fix. While many of the sites from this same year are broken beyond measure, to the point that we had to face the facts we were not going to be able to salvage them, this one has held up remarkably well. The only issue we discovered on this site was a duplicate links to the home page. One member of our team combed through the entire site one afternoon in search of broken links, missing photos, formatting issues, and more. Nothing was found to really be out of place. The links still work, the citations look good, all the photos load as they should. The only thing amiss was the link, which was removed to make the site appear more neat and reduce confusion.
Now, we are obligated to tell viewers that how this site appears today is not how it did originally. You see, this site is part of the UMW Blogs multisite, which houses over 15,000 sites associated with UMW. The digital preservation team had nothing to do with this change. Since 2012, WordPress has updated countless times, and those automatic updates worked out well on some sites, such as this one, and broke others completely.
Here are some before and after screenshots of what this site looked like as of 2022, when we made our changes. 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 explore the Historic Buildings of the University of Mary Washington site for yourself, please click here or navigate to the site’s landing page from the dropdown menus at the top of this page.