Contract Defense

As part of the Fredericksburg Historical Markers project, my group members and I were in a particularly unique position of creating our project to our exact liking, given that we did not have an organization to report to, like other projects in the course. This particular condition provided us the opportunity to dream big, with the privilege of changing details when we saw fit, without the fear of not meeting the needs of an organization.

Throughout the course of the project there were several adjustments made, which essentially were deviations from the contract that was submitted to professor McClurken in late February. The biggest deviation had to do with the list of 40 historical markers that were to be researched and published on our website. While we still researched 40 markers, many of us in the group had to change several of our markers because of a lack of sufficient scholarly material needed to write about a site. I personally changed five of the ten historical sites I researched. Unfortunately, the necessity to switch particular sites was not discovered until we were in the midst of actually writing the research for that site, thus, we could not of foreseen and corrected this issue prior to the contract submission.

Another major shift from the contract was the deviation of the workload. While initially we decided the research and writing component was to be done by Lake and Rachael, we quickly changed that so that everyone equally did research and writing for ten historical markers. In addition, we decided to no longer make personalized intro video for our website, instead deciding to use an existing video of Fredericksburg. Rachel contacted and got the permission of the creators of the video that is currently on the website, which she shortened to fit the purpose our site. We decided to use one instead of two Timelines, because it was often difficult to find out when a marker was erected, so we decided to just document the occurrence of the event being memorialized. We also made the decision to use GoogleMaps instead of ArchGIS, which was not too much of a deviation from the contract because we had indicated that this may be done if needed. The reason for our decision was that the ArchGIS became difficult to navigate and it was not compatible to phones. Lastly, as opposed to Rachel and Jay completing the GoogleMaps and Timeline, Rachel and Lake simply embedded the programs into our website and we each individually inputted the information for our particular sites.

Other small changes include the decision not to incorporate interviews, we found that we tended to focus on the historical event itself and our sources were sufficient in creating an adequate contextualization. Finally, Lake ended up taking the majority of the photos for our markers and Rachel set up the gallery on our site. We each titled, cited, and wrote the alt-texts for all of the images concerned with our markers. While it is clear that there were many deviations from the agreed upon contract, it is my belief that these decisions were both justified and imperative to the flourishment of the project as a whole.