A crowd-sourced interactive timeline for Mormon Women’s History

Posted by on May 27, 2011 in history, women | 8 comments

To use the power of the “crowd” to create a visual representation of significant events in Mormon women’s history, I’ve created a Mormon Women’s History Timeline that’s populated from a google spreadsheet to display the significant historical happenings.*  It’s my aim for this timeline to offer new ways of thinking about our collective past as we can easily view concurrent events, or see moments of disjuncture (or perhaps absence) in the historical record.

To make this project all that it can be, however, I will need your help.  I will need you to go to the relevant wikipedia sites and online chronologies to pull the data for the timeline and enter into the spreadsheet.  It’s not difficult at all, although certain formatting rules need to be followed so the data will appear correctly.

Ready to join in this project?  Let’s Go!

The data for the timeline is stored in a google spreadsheet that can be found here.  In order to publish correctly in the finished timeline, some care must be taken to enter the data correctly.  Please follow these directions for each type of filed in the spreadsheet:

Names: please use the full names of the women for this timeline, when available.  For example, use Martha Hughes Cannon instead of “Sister Cannon” or “Dr. Cannon.”

{label} This is the field for the verbiage that will show up on the timeline.  It should be as brief as possible, while still offering specific information.  You can use simple HTML tags to format the words in this field, such as <i> for italics and <b> for bold.  You can also add hyperlinks, but please do so as external target links, so they will open a new window for those who click on them.  An example of a correctly styled hyperlink is:

<a href=”http://www.the-exponent.com/2006/01/06/the-exponent-ii-blog-begins/” target=”_blank”>Founding of the Exponent Blog</a>

If you don’t know how to use HTML tags or links, simply enter the data as plain text for now, so someone else may go in later and add special formatting.

{start:date} This field needs to be formatted exactly as noted, or will not populate the calendar correctly.  Please designate dates as:

YYYY-MM-DD, or 1900-01-01

If you don’t know the exact “day” on which something occurred, it is okay to put just the year.

{end:date} This field should be used sparingly, given that it will create a long bar in the timeline, and too many such bars will clutter the view quickly.  At this point in time, I will strongly urge that this field only be used for the tenure of RS Presidents, and not for other types of data.

{description:single} This field is for the narrative description of an event.  It can be much longer than the description in the {label} field, but should still be only about one paragraph long.  You can link to external content in this field, and also format with HTML.

{image:URL} If there is an image to accompany this entry, please paste the URL into this field.  You can just add the URL, no HTML tags are necessary in this field.

{eventType} This field should be used to categorize the type of event entered.  Because the timeline will quickly become cluttered if there are too many event types, I would strongly urge you to use already-established Event Types for this field.  Event Types that are currently in use are:

Relief Society
Church History**
Feminism
Bloggernacle

To see the data that you entered appear on the timeline, simply “refresh” the timeline page.  Voila!

If you want to enter data for the timeline, but need some sources for significant moments in Mormon women’s history, here are some online resources for you:

The Relief Society entry on Wikipedia

Landmarks for LDS Women: A Contemporary Chronology

Encyclopedia of Mormonism

If you have other suggestions for history resources, please leave them in the comments section.

*Huge kudos to Brian Croxall for his Timeline Tutorial
**Please note this is a Mormon Women’s History project; Church history events should only be included insofar as they are important to the history of Mormon women. Please don’t include general Church history events unless they directly relate to an important aspect of Mormon women’s history.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Jana, this is the coolest thing ever and I’m already a complete sucker. :) So fun to play with.

    I hope it’s okay that I’m throwing in a few important events in the history of American women’s movements (like the Seneca Falls Convention). Just seems like it would be valuable to have some larger historical context for some of our Mormon women’s history.

  2. Amazing! This is such an exciting project. Thanks for getting us started and offering such a great explanation. I know you challenged the bloggers to allocate a few minutes this weekend to add content.

    I’d like to add a number to that challenge (and like you, extend it to everyone). Can we get 20 new entries by Monday? (It’s a holiday weekend, what else do we have to do?)

    • I think if everyone set a goal to add 5 items to the timeline, it’d be chock-full in no time!

      • Hell, if I don’t learn to tear myself away from it, it’ll be chock full before the weekend’s out. :P

  3. I. Love. THIS. What a great idea!

  4. I’m excited to see what this shows! I’ll try to wrap my head around how to make a contribution…

  5. Thanks, Jana! This is fabulous and needed!!!

  6. Jana, how wonderful! Thanks for putting this together!

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