City of Memory–Digital Humanities Evaluation
City of Memory is a site that I had originally heard of while reading the Letting Go: Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World. I had thought that the idea sounded interesting, but never actually checked out the site until I needed to evaluate a digital humanities project. Upon going to the site I found it to be a site worth exploring with its content, construction and aesthetics and overall idea.
The content of the site though spanning a large range of topics is still all relevant to the site’s main idea of stories that took place within the city. The stories are the individual experiences of those who live or have lived within the city and all have something to offer: some give a look into the city’s past, some offer insight to how it is to live within the city, and some are just entertaining. The content of the site retains relevance as pieces can always be added from anyone who believes they have something valuable to add to the site. Overall the content with its wide range remains focused and is able to retain the audience’s attention with its more entertaining pieces while educating as well with the more informative and historical additions.
City of Memory has a design that is aesthetically pleasing while also offering the ability to add input without much understanding. It is quite easy to add content, as there is an easily visible, “add story” button on the top bar of the site. Maneuvering through the site is also handled with ease as the user is able to navigate the map much like navigating through Google maps; there is a zoom in and out as well as the ability to grab the map and move where you would like. After moving to the desired area of the map the user can choose whichever point on the map containing a story that they would prefer to read as well as identify the beginning of tours located within the map. The points on the map are distinguished by color blue points on the map are from users and Citylore curates orange ones. Citylore is an organization that was established in an effort to record and preserve the unique culture of New York City.
The overall idea of City of Memory seems to be to document various stories from numerous individuals all connected through their residence in that particular city. Seeing the amount of stories on the site it appears that the residents of New York City all appreciate the idea as they have readily supplied their stories to the site and continue to. I could see this idea working at just about any city where the people are excited to live there and could easily recall stories from their residence there. The City of Memory site could expand their project if they wanted to other cities either within the state or across the country offering a place for people of the same city to share stories with one another and possibly help them to remember city specific events. I think that the idea realized by City of Memory is great and has a place not just for New York City, but also for other cities across the United States and possibly the world.
The City of Memory site is an excellent digital humanities project as it has relevant and interesting content, is easy to navigate and contribute from the user and also contains an interesting and important overall idea. I think that the City of Memory site is a great digital humanities project as it is and also has potential to grow and incorporate more area.