Project Progress Update #3

Since my last update, I’ve added three new pages to my navigation bar: Contact, Community Contributions, and Español.

The addition of a contact page was pretty straightforward. Omeka offers a contact form plugin, so I installed that and set it up. The plugin recommended I enter reCAPTCHA site keys under my “Settings” section to avoid spam submissions. Signing up for reCAPTCHA keys through Google was a quick and painless process.

The “Community Contributions” page took a little more thought, however. Omeka does have a Contributions plugin, but I was hesitant to utilize that. The way I envisioned the “Community Contributions” page was more akin to a permanent exhibit at an art museum — patrons can view the art on display, create meaning from that experience, but the museum will not accept unsolicited creations from visitors to display alongside the permanent pieces. The curation process for that specific permanent exhibit is not ongoing: it happens only during a specific timeframe determined well in advance by museum staff. Because of this, I decided not to pursue the Contributions plugin. Instead, I experimented with the Exhibits and Collections functions of Omeka, the idea being that each contribution would be input into Omeka as an item. However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the layouts these tools provided.

I was looking for a gallery-type display of the files associated with the items, that linked back to the items themselves. I settled on creating a SimplePage and entered a shortcode in the text box that would return all items tagged “communitycontributions”. In the page description, I also included a link to the Contact page along with the following text: “Have a question about how we accept and display community contributions? Send us a message here.” I’m still contemplating what the curation policy for this page should be — perhaps once or twice a year submissions could be accepted and the content refreshed. Regardless, once the policy is determined, information about it can be posted on this page.

Finally, I added an Español page. Ideally, when a user clicked this button, they would be transported to a twin site where all the pages were in Spanish (this seems to be the case with the Bracero History Archive). Better yet, the translation would somehow be ingrained into the site and users wouldn’t need to be redirected to a separate link (as is the case with some of the pages on New Roots).  Unfortunately, I think this would take a bit more time for me to figure out, so I settled for a SimplePage duplication of the homepage. It’s not as clean as I would like it (I can’t figure out how to translate the buttons in the navigation bar or the name of the website), but it gets the job done. I’d like to fully translate the home page, including the timeline in its entirety, but that may be too lofty of a goal – only time will tell.

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