The History & Legacy of UMW

UMW Digital History Archive

The James Monroe Papers

    The James Monroe Papers project was built using Omeka by the 2010 iteration of the Adventures in Digital History class. This website is a collection of letters written by James Monroe to the U.S. Secretary of State while Monroe was the Minister to France from August, 1794 to August, 1796. The letters are transcribed […]

    The James Monroe Papers project was built using Omeka by the 2010 iteration of the Adventures in Digital History class. This website is a collection of letters written by James Monroe to the U.S. Secretary of State while Monroe was the Minister to France from August, 1794 to August, 1796. The letters are transcribed and digitized as items. Some of the letters are scanned as images. In addition to the letters, the website offered “information about Monroe’s time in France, an interactive timeline, and two interactive maps.” The timeline and map programs are no longer supported, and so these features did not survive. 

    The timeline and North American maps were taken off from the main page. The Europe Map is still accessible from the main page because it provided information about additional locations in France that add context to the letters. Using the Simple Pages feature, we were able to remove the map and add text to the page to indicate why the map was no longer available. Rather than stripping the code, we decided to add comment tags to hide the map and a statement telling the user to “please visit the About the Site page […] for information about using the maps”. Comment tags are used to indicate to the program that remarks being made in the code are not meant to be viewed in the final product. Typically, comment tags are made with a beginning (<!–) and end (–>) tag. On this early version of Omeka, the necessity of the end tag and its appearance on the public page is unstable. 

Initially, the end tag would appear on the public page regardless of placement if the paragraph (<p></p>) tag was present. If the end tag was removed, the page would appear unedited. Once the end and paragraph tags were removed, the presence of a line break seemed to serve as the end tag. Only the beginning tag was applied to the map code, a Google Maps <iframe> embed, and successfully removed the map. After re-editing the code to take an accurate “before” image, the rules of the end tag shifted. Now to remove the text, the italic (<i></i>) tags needed to be removed as well. To remove the map, we needed to add end tags directly after the end </iframe> tag. A space between the end comments tag and the iframe tag would remove the full page. Mentions of the maps and timelines were removed from the About the Site page using the comment tags.

The featured collections portion of the main page will need to be removed by using admin access into the code. This was not possible for the 2022 digital preservation team.

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