This week my group finished 3D laser scanning, photographing, and recording video footage of the objects. We also had the added surprise of the James Monroe Museum asking us to include a sixth object, the James Monroe musket. The Director wanted to include the musket because it illustrates a common problem in museums. According to Monroe family lore, James Monroe used the musket for hunting, took it to college at William and Mary, and fought with it in the American Revolution. However, the lack of supporting documents and the fact that the musket is an amalgamation of other muskets makes the story difficult to prove. I think it is a good object to include in the digital collection because it highlights the issues with interpreting poorly documented objects. Posting a 3D scan and photographs online may also eventually lead to viewers offering new information about that musket or muskets of the same time period that could help the museum.
Over the course of the past two weeks, my group has scanned the bicorne hat, Elizabeth Monroe’s wedding shoe, the pistols, and James Monroe’s outfit. We hope to scan the White House chair next week. Additionally, we also recorded footage and two interviews with the curator about the pistols and the chair. We would have continued to interview the curator this week, but we were unable to check out a video recorder. Instead, we compiled and edited information from the object files to include with the 3D laser scans and interviews on the website.
After looking at a number student’s Domain of One’s Own websites, Dr. McClurken’s website, and several of the articles, I was drawn to several themes or concepts:
- It is important to list your educational and professional experiences on your website, as well as samples of your work to favorably portray yourself to potential employers. While LinkedIn can help build your identity as a professional, using your own website can give you greater control over the presentation of information about yourself, your contributions, and your collaborations.
- Be thoughtful about what information you share on the internet. Even if you carefully construct a professional identity, your reputation can still be compromised by information you post on social media.
- Building on the observation above, information posted on the internet is difficult to remove. Begin to build your digital identity from a young age.
- If you don’t work to create a digital identity for yourself, Google will for you. People who are interested in learning more about you will search your name and form opinions about you from the search results. You can shape their opinions of you by creating your own website where you have more control over how you present yourself.
- Your digital identity will help you connect with others with shared interests. However, you should also try to engage with a broader audience to attract people with different perspectives who can challenge your thinking. I believe that criticism is a powerful tool for refining arguments or developing a well-thought opinion.