Polish National Identity in Chicago

The Oral History Archives of the Chicago Polonia Project is a collection at the Chicago History Museum and contains interviews conducted in the 1970s on the Polish immigrant experience between 1880 and 1930. I am currently using this collection for a research paper, where I am examining how the city (around the turn of the 20th century) became a space where a strong Polish national identity could prosper due to theatrical performances and the circulated press. Reviewing the life stories of immigrants that the Polonia project undertook provides important insights on this identity formation. I recently took photos of the interview transcripts to create a hypothetical online exhibit.

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The Open Access Movement: Academia.edu


Social network sites, like Facebook, allow individuals to connect with people they are acquainted with or share some sort of interest. While this is seen as probably the most popular social network site, there is a social networking platform that allows users to connect with one another based on academic research, called Academia.edu. This site is specifically for academics that wish to share their research with others in their field. It allows for the user to monitor how many times their work has been read online, permitting them to see if their research is relevant and has aroused interest in the academic community. Individuals could even follow their research field in case of new developments from other academics. This site has opened the world up to new venues of learning, and as a History graduate student I know the site has proven beneficial when conducting my own research. Continue reading “The Open Access Movement: Academia.edu”

Important Considerations For Creating A Digital Exhibit

During last week’s assignment, where we had to evaluate a library or museum’s online digital collection, I found myself very critical of Newberry Library’s digital presence. I was definitely frustrated while looking at certain digital exhibits that appeared underdeveloped, and frankly mad when I couldn’t access exhibits that were only available through computers onsite (and these exhibits looked well-made and interesting). I have never been a tech savvy person and my academic career in history has only required me to use PowerPoints, so I came into this class with minimal to no knowledge of the work that goes into digital exhibits. After reading my peers’ blog posts this week, I think some of my judgements were misguided. While it is important to be critical and to learn from other institutional sites, I have also learned that there are a lot of elements that need to be considered when producing online exhibits. Continue reading “Important Considerations For Creating A Digital Exhibit”

Twitter: Information at Your Finger Tips

The explosion of social media platforms have provided the world with new venues for discussion. Whether it be about contemporary world events, or the latest celebrity gossip, social media sites have proven that they are here to stay by enticing users throughout the world. One specific platform that has gained immense prominence with not only lay people, but with scholars and academic institutions, is Twitter. Unlike sites like Facebook, where an individual could write a lengthy post on a specific topic, Twitter only allows for 140 characters within a “tweet.” This form of microblogging allows for quick bits of information to easily connect with followers, especially since the Twitter app is common among any smartphone user (which most people now have affixed to their body). This means that news can hastily get to a person with popup notifications, allowing for the easy transmission of ideas and events across the globe. The app is connected to the 24-hour news cycle, where live updates are regularly posted about world events. The advantages of having a Twitter account can be plentiful, especially for public history institutions, because it provides a platform for getting important information about the institutions to those who are interested. Continue reading “Twitter: Information at Your Finger Tips”