Black Mountain College Team Contract
Our mission is to tell the story of Black Mountain College in relation with World War II. Our goal is to explore the effects of the war on the college during the rise of the Nazi party, during the war, and after. The website will focus on three separate areas: the refugees who came to the college, the effects of the war on the college campus itself, and on the faculty and students who left the campus to join the war efforts. These individual subcategories will be called “Those Who Came,” “Those Who Stayed,” and “Those Who Left,” respectively. This narrative will be useful to individuals interested in Black Mountain College, World War II, and local history. While we intend to make our site academic, we would also like to appeal to a broader audience and to attract more people to the story of Black Mountain College.
We will be using a scanning machine to capture high resolution images of primary sources. We will upload these images to our website so visitors may view images of original documents. When necessary, we will be transcribing these documents so text reading software and programs may read these documents. This will ensure that those who are visually impaired or have reading disabilities will also have access to these important documents. We will, of course, be using WordPress as our primary tool and mode of presenting our story to our audience. We will be using the theme “Intuition” for its clean appearance, organization, and compatibility on a variety of devices and screen sizes.
We will also be using Timeline JS to map the journeys and experiences of selected individuals who joined the armed forces or left Black Mountain College to help the U.S. government with wartime. We will select approximately three or four individuals whose journeys are easily tracked. These individuals will also have the most documentation in the archives, so there will be plenty of historical information that we can provide about these people.
We will also be using TimeMap JS in order to track the origins and travels of 3-7 refugees prior to accepting employment or enrolling in Black Mountain College.
The site’s viewers will begin their journey on the homepage. The homepage will be our static page and will have a very brief explanation about our website. There will also be a toolbar along the top of the page that will have a few different options: “Home,” “About,” “Those Who Came,” “Those Who Stayed,” “Those Who Left,” and “Additional Resources.”
Home Page: The Home Page will be the first page the view encounters upon entering our website. This page will most likely contain the briefest of descriptions about the story that our website is telling. For the most part, this page is just intended to be a static page that serves as a starting point for our visitors. A “Home” option will be located on the static toolbar along the top. Having a “Home” option on the toolbar will make it easier for our viewers to instantly return to the homepage. The toolbar will include options for the About page, the “Those Who Came” page, “Those who Stayed” page and “Those Who Left” page. All three team members will contribute to this page.
About Page: The About Page will tell the viewer about the purpose of our site. Ideally, it will lay out our mission as well as the various features that our site will contain. This page will describe in detail all the available activities and the story that our website is telling. It will also contain brief biographies of all three contributors. We are hoping this will help viewers navigate through our website with ease. All three team members will contribute to this page.
“Those Who Came”: The “Those Who Came” page will tell the stories of refugees and parolees from domestic internment camps who came to the college during the rise of the Nazi party and throughout the war. We will feature a selection of stories from both of these groups as well as information about how they changed and influenced the college. This header, “Those Who Came”, should be along the top banner and allow a drop-down menu of individual names and subsections where a viewer can click and go to that respective page. Each page will have a biography about the individual, how they influenced the college, what they taught, previous work and experience, and the social and political conditions they had encountered prior to accepting employment at Black Mountain College. There will be pictures of letters written by or addressed to these individuals along the side of the pages about specific staff members. If a viewer were to click the pictures of these letters, there will be typed transcripts and in some cases, an audio recording of the letter to make the website more accessible. We also intend to involve pictures of the individuals and perhaps the exact situation that each refugee was fleeing, if possible. The intention of this page is not only to afford the viewer the ability to sympathize with the refugees and parolees from this period of time, but also to allow them to grasp the socio-political climate. Finally, we intend to involve an interactive component by incorporating StoryMapJS into this section, which can be used to display the travels and origins of 3-7 refugees who would be employed or enrolled at Black Mountain College. This page will be completed by Keira Roberson.
“Those Who Stayed”: “Those Who Stayed” will explore life on campus during the war. This multifaceted topic will include various subtopics: “Supporting the War,” “Education in a Time of War,” and “Building in a Time of War.” “Supporting the War” will discuss the various ways in which those who remained on campus showed support for their colleagues and comrades who left to fight as well as for the war in general. “Education in a Time of War” will discuss the ways in which Black Mountain College changed their curriculum and to the structure and layout of their semesters/school calendar. “Building in a Time of War” will have two subitems. The first subitem will be the actual historical narrative of the Studies Building that was built when Europe erupted into war. This includes the difficulty in obtaining building supplies and the fact that the building itself could not actually be completed until after the war. The other subitem will be one of the interactive components that will be added by our computer gaming partners. At this time, it is thought that this interactive will be a game allowing viewers to “build” the original Studies Building from the Black Mountain College Lake Eden Campus. This building is directly connected with World War II as its construction began around the time war broke out in Europe (this made obtaining building supplies harder) and could not be fully completed until after the war had ended and those who had left to fight or help the government had returned. To aid our computer gaming partners in this task, we will provide them with blueprints, images, and other details about the building. With each step of construction, the player will receive a new bit of information concerning the campus and effects of the war/war efforts on behalf of those who stayed. “Those Who Stayed” will include any or all of the following:a historical interpretation of this topic, original photographs or photos of primary sources, blueprints,and excerpts from primary sources (such as Black Mountain College bulletins and announcements and speeches by individuals). This page will be completed by Kristen Walden.
“Those Who Left”: “Those Who Left” documents the individuals from Black Mountain College who were drafted, enlisted, or otherwise left the campus to aid in the war effort. There will be two subsections in this category: Faculty and students. The subsection content is self-explanatory of course. Since it would be impossible to survey all of the faculty and students who participated, the category will focus on the people from whom the archives contain the most source documents. We will transcribe letters and include photographs where possible. The ultimate goal of this section will be to document the intentions, values, and experiences of these subjects, from their time at Black Mountain College before joining the war effort throughout the course of their wartime journey. Particular attention will be directed toward two-way communications between these individuals and their counterparts who remained at the College. While most of the content will reflect the subjects’ experiences leading up to and during the war, it is also important to attempt to discern how veterans reintegrated themselves into the College community after the war. Distilling and relating this process should resonate with a modern audience due to the large number of veterans returning from conflicts and entering colleges in the present day, and this is likely to remain relevant into the foreseeable future. Hopefully, relating these stories through this medium will communicate to the reader the urgency of the call to arms, the struggle to come to grips with the reality of war, the tragedy and triumph of the soldier’s journey across the battlefield, the relationship to the home front during this journey, and the difficulties involved in transitioning from being a warfighter back to being a civilian. This section will be completed by Joe Mitchell.
Additional Resources: This page will contain our thanks and acknowledgements to those individuals and institutions who assisted us in our research as well as links to additional suggested resources for patrons who may be interested in furthering their knowledge on this topic. All three team members will contribute to this page.
- February 24: Create Black Mountain College website, make final decision on theme
- March 6: Final contract due. Progress on research should be well underway by this point.
- March 10: Make final decisions on contents of site
- Finalize layout
- Finalize contents of each subcategory
- March 17: Have research completed, add
- March 22: Add audio/visual components to website, complete individual subcategory descriptions
- Record Audio
- Take necessary photos of primary sources
- Load audio and images to website
- Complete subcategory descriptions
- Complete links to bibliography
- March 29: First draft of site due
- Make any desired changes
- April 7: Games Programming partners will submit final interactive components
- April 12: Incorporate gaming components into website
- April 14: Complete any necessary or desired changes
- Test website out on family, friends, other Digital History Groups, Games Programming Partners
- All changes should be completed by Monday, April 17. By the end of this day, website should be completely finished and ready to be launched.
- April 19: Final site due
- May 8: Presentation to Provost, Chancellor, etc.