James Monroe Papers Contract

This document constitutes a written agreement between Dr. Jeffrey McClurken and Talya Halpern, Lisa Meissner, Andrea Meyer and Kelly Wuyscik, the latter being referred to as the James Monroe Paper Website (JMPW) group, to create and develop the James Monroe Papers Website as specified, but not limited to, by the Digital History course outline and the criteria established by Dr. Daniel Preston in our meeting of January 24, 2008.

The JMPW project will provide a digital presence for the James Monroe Papers and the effort behind the publishing of his papers, which is to be embedded in the University of Mary Washington website. As per the request of Dr. Daniel Preston, this website will place particular emphasis on the efforts and status related to the publication of the James Monroe Papers. In addition to the specifications provided by Dr. Preston, which are specified in the following text, the JMPW group will provide an additional site that pertains to specific themes in James Monroe’s life (see separate clause below for specifications of this second website), which are subject to the approval of Dr. Preston. If approved, this additional site will be accessible through the official JMPW through a separate link.

Due to the need of compatibility between the JMPW and the UMW website, the group will utilize “Contribute.” Jerry Slezak will provide a separate tutorial session with the group on this program. The objective is to develop a website that can be maintained by Dr. Preston with a minimal amount of effort.

Tasks specified by Dr. Preston, which support those specified in the Digital History course outline, are as follows:

(1) Home Page (Cover) will utilize the image of Monroe, which appears on the cover of the two printed volumes, the University of Mary Washington logo, and the menu for supporting pages which are: About the Project, Papers of James Monroe Publications, James Monroe, Related Publications, Bibliography, Links, and Contact Us.

(2) About the Project page will provide a mission statement, or project description, of the James Monroe Papers. This section is to be supplied by Dr. Preston.

(3) The Papers of James Monroe Publications page will include links to the following: the PJM catalogue, Volumes one through three with descriptions, an Illustrated History, Greenwood Press and Pictorial Histories Publishing.

(4) The James Monroe page will include a biography, chronology, genealogy, and portraits and biographies of James Monroe, Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, Eliza Monroe, Maria Hester Monroe and James Spence Monroe. All documentation and images will be provided, or should he choose to have us create it, it will be approved by Dr. Preston.

(5) The Related Publications page will include, but are not limited to, a narrative of the Life of James Monroe, the Presidency of James Monroe, Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, the Presidential Legacy, Images of a President, Tour Book, Music in Monroe’s Fredericksburg. All documentation for this page will be provided by Dr. Preston.

(6) The works cited and recommended reading bibliographies will be provided by Dr. Preston and placed on a separate page.

(7) Link page will include, but is not limited to, the following: Monroe Museum, Ashlawn, Miller Center, and the Fennell Site. A complete list of links will be provided by Dr. Preston. If approved, the links will include the James Monroe Website, our separate site.

(8) The Contact Us page will include the University of Mary Washington address, telephone number and email address.

The JMPW group will divide all tasks associated with the two websites equally and commit to providing regular status updates in accordance with the “Regular Presentations” clause in the course syllabus. A separate milestone chart will be maintained for each website, and progress of both websites will be presented in accordance to the course outline on the days specified for JMP. Work status breakdowns will be developed for each website using Google Spreadsheets, and they will identify the status of all open and closed action items, along with the person to talk to about them. Action items will be assigned, and it is the responsibility of the person assigned to update the work breakdown by noting any changes prior to project presentations.


(l) Develop a layout for the official website by Friday February 15 and discuss with Dr. Preston. Confirmed date Tuesday, February 19th at 3:30 pm. Email received from Prof. Preston February 7. Upon receipt of Dr. Preston’s approval, begin construction of website using Contribute.
(2) Meeting scheduled with Jerry to discuss Contribute on February 18 from 2:00 to 3:30.

(3) Website up by March 18.


(1) Create a detailed skeleton of what is to be the basis of the second website by February 15th. The site will focus primarily on Monroe’s time as Minister to France but all sub-pages will be developed by this time.

(2) Have the timeline completed by Friday 22nd of Feb. using a Google Spreadsheet and then Simile and will contain additional information beyond that which is featured in the timeline created for the official James Monroe Papers Site.

(3) Have all scanning completed by Thursday March 20th and everything uploaded to Omeka. Standards for scanning will be established by the group before scanning begins and no later than February 29th.

(4) Finish the Moviemaker video/slideshow creation by March 30th.

(5) Draft the format of site and begin the actual architecture by April 1.

(6) Compile all sections together by April 8.

(7) Double check and trouble shoot the site between April 8 and April 21. Final Project due April 21. Between April 8 and April 21, Dr. Preston will meet with the group to review the JMW.

Specifications that pertain to the James Monroe Website, which will be developed separately from the JMPW.

  • National Archives Microfilm of Monroe’s career as Minister to France will be scanned and each group member will take a different time frame to work on and develop. The data on the microfilm will be the central structure for the website.


(1) Windows Movie Maker: The movie maker will be used to create a segment related to Monroe’s life, incorporating a narrated biography of Monroe and his family, as well as various images and portraits. The hope is to make a more interactive and appealing source of information on James Monroe. It will possibly require the use of a media file converter like Zamzar, Movavi, or Media Converter.

(2) Voicethread: This tool will be investigated in order to aide with the possible narration of documents as a form of spoken transcription. This will depend on time and ability to transcribe some of the documents.

(3) Omeka: Documents will be uploaded into Omeka after they are scanned. The overall site will be built in either Omeka or WordPress with a link embedded to Omeka.

(4) WordPress: This site has the potential to work with Omeka and may be used as a place to host the Movie created on James Monroe’s life, and possibly contain links to other parts of the final project. Additionally, all group members will be updating WordPress blogs during the website creation process to keep their collaborators informed.

(5) Google Documents/Spreadsheets: These tools will be useful for timelines and the collaborative work needed to write up the content sections of both websites. They will also be a main stream of communication for the group.

(6) Simile: This will be the timeline tool used by the group to create the chronological display of James Monroe’s life. There will be an “abridged” version on the official website, and a more in depth version on the group’s own website.