By Eric Plaag, Chairperson, Digital Watauga Project
The Digital Watauga Project is pleased to announce that it has officially made the move to our new web home, effective today. Our new website address is now DigitalWatauga.org. You can find all of the same content from our old Digital Watauga site over at the new location, plus much more that will be launching in the coming days.
This move actually represents a much-needed change in webhosting providers. When Digital Watauga first went online in late summer 2015, we launched using the Omeka.net interface and relied on Omeka to provide our webhosting. For those not in the know, Omeka is a web publishing platform that was designed by the Corporation for Digital Scholarship at George Mason University for use by archivists, educators, libraries, museums, scholars, students, and the general public to display content and build digital exhibitions, often in collaboration. While originally designed as a content platform rather than a webhosting service, Omeka.net eventually offered server space for a fee in order to make Omeka more widely accessible to those without independent and secure server options for interaction with public users. For obvious reasons, this solution was the best for Digital Watauga in its infancy.
Enter Reclaim Hosting. Founded in 2013, Reclaim offers hosting options for individuals and institutions, with the vast majority of their users having education-focused content. Most importantly, their hosting fees are substantially less than those on Omeka.net, and they offer much higher storage limit levels as part of their standard pricing options. We became aware of Reclaim shortly after we initially launched, but we were also aware that they were still working through some growing pains. When it became clear that Reclaim was offering the Omeka web application AND had designed a relatively seamless method for migrating content from an existing Omeka platform to Reclaim’s servers, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity any longer. The move will save the Digital Watauga Project many thousands of dollars in the years to come. That frees up resources for securing new collections, improving our scanning capabilities, and ultimately offering much greater access to the historical materials our users seek.
Now that this migration has occurred, we will be uploading thousands of items in several new collections that have been waiting on the sidelines for the move to be completed. Stay tuned for a major announcement about these new collections sometime during the week of November 10. We’ve included a couple of images from those collections in this blog entry as a tease of what’s to come.