As I continue to research and work on my digital history project I have encountered various successes and setbacks that have helped my project. I have had to make various decisions to make my project more manageable within the span of a semester. I want to stick with the idea of starting with an exhibit by discussing United States Supreme Court Cases through Congressional Reconstruction and how the Fourteenth Amendment has been interpreted since 1868 and how that interpretation has changed over time. My hope is to conduct further research on individuals related to specific SCOTUS cases to then create a backdoor into the study of Reconstruction.
I plan to study a specific section of reconstruction because of time constraints. I will create an in-depth exhibit from Congressional history from 1865 to 1868 and end with Johnson’s impeachment trial. I then plan to transition to 20th and 21st century SCOTUS cases or some other method to convey how the interpretation of the amendment, specifically the Equal Clause has changed over time. I am still in the process of research to create a more personalized study on various Radical Republicans such as Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens.
The first problem that I encountered is how to create and embed an interactive timeline within an Omeka exhibit. I plan to make between one and two timelines that run concurrently. The first will depict the history of Reconstruction from 1865 to 1868 and the second will depict SCOTUS cases after 1868 to at least 2000 depending on time constraints. This next week I plan to research more on individuals associated with key influential SCOTUS cases to create a more story-like method to an exhibit on Reconstruction. The main media I plan to use for primary sources includes newspaper articles and political pamphlets published by leading Radical Republicans such as the Alexandria Gazette as well as papers of the Congressional Globe. Overall I plan to select between 2-4 SCOTUS cases and use those as a framework for the beginning of the exhibit. My exhibit will focus more on the Radical Republicans, their ideology, and how they passed the Fourteenth Amendment which could be expanded upon in a subsequent exhibit.
My next steps include adding more materials and finalizing research through newspaper articles as well as reading how to embed a timeline in Omeka.