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HUAC

As we close in on the final weeks, we’ve come to realize that what we may not be able to write a script that will do all that we want, search-wise. Fortunately, working with DocumentCloud as our database has allowed us to utilize their robust functionality, and we have used their tools to provide basic search and browse functions on our site. With these in place, we’re focused on polishing our front end, pitch, and documentation. We are also considering adding one more layer of fun…

We would like to position this project part as useful tool for historians, part as a template for replicable front-end to DocumentCloud, and as participatory digital scholarship.

To the participatory aspect, we’re considering creating and implementing a crowd sourcing platform to help with assigning the needed metadata to the individual testimonies.

One of the early and lasting story lines behind the project has been making publicly accessible a collection of materials with a shadowy past and curious relationship to public/private spaces, agendas, politics, and notions of guilt. At this stage, scholars would appreciate having the transcripts collected and rendered (simply) searchable; the scattered nature of the testimonies themselves is a major roadblock to HUAC studies that we’re trying to level out. But beyond that, incorporating crowd sourcing would resonate with the true spirit of the Digital HUAC project, which in a sense is the anti HUAC project, by relying on contributions from the public. To include a wide array of contributors in documenting and publicizing material whose origins lie in silencing or coercing folks seems powerful.

We’d love to hear input from you, our classmates, on this potential new addition to the project.

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