I promise, I really was going to write a blog post yesterday, but the power went off at 11:30 and didn’t go back on until 4:30. I went in search of a bookstore with a coffee shop that would have power, but I didn’t find one. Everything was closed due to the lack of power which was a result of a fire at the substation (whatever that means). I ended up at a coffee shop on Ludlow (don’t I sound like a local), which seemed to be the only place with power in a 2 mile radius from HUC. It reminded me a bit of Tea Chai Té, a place I frequently haunt in Portland. It had a  tea menu, slow service, and community journals to write in. It made me miss my friends (shout out to Adrienne, Alan, and Ceara <3).

I have been thinking a lot about the plantation database I am building. I am really shocked by some of the plantations that still exist today and their website designs. They seem nostalgic for a time when slavery was though of as acceptable (let’s move on people! not acceptable!). It is also hard because I have never learned my tech skills in a formal setting, I learn by myself, on the go, or with the librarians from Haverford, Laurie Allen and Mike Zarafonetis. I am still having trouble thinking about how to create the front-end for a database, which program to us,  ensuring that the aesthetics are pleasing, and that it is user friendly. I leave you with a few photos from this morning, the first day that the sun has shone in the morning.

Reading Room

Reading Room

Though almost everything is in an online catalog, there is about 10% of the archive that one can only find through the card catalog

Though almost everything is in an online catalog, there is about 10% of the archive that one can only find through the card catalog

Where I work everyday

Where I work everyday

The desk where you sign in and request archives.

 

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Laura

Laura Newman Eckstein is the Judaica Digital Humanities Coordinator a the University of Pennsylvania. She is an enthusiastic cartophile, a digital humanities lover, and creative spirit. Currently, Laura lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys spending her free time exploring the city with friends, reading books, and playing with her landlord's dog.