I am now happily generating CSV exports of data from the MNHS collections management system thanks to a bit of additional help from Keith Maguire of South Australian Museum who wrote the original XSLT report for me! My test data set is officially ready for publication in Open Context. I shared the data set with one of Dr. Hayes’ students so she can start working on her analysis. I plan to show her how to access and use the data in Open Content once it is available there also.
At Matt Cassady’s recommendation, I have started reading over research assembled by the historic sites staff regarding the daily life of soldiers at the fort during the nineteenth century. This will help me better understand the significance of the artifact patterns we are seeing.
Much to my surprise, Dr. Hayes came out to Fort Snelling on March 3rd with a University of Minnesota staff member who supports the use of technology in research and education. They brought a new 360 degree camera to test on the Fort Snelling Short Barracks. Part of the scanning (or is it filming?) included shots of interiors populated with reproduction artifacts. This opens the possibility that we could link these objects to information about actual artifacts found during excavation of that building. I have little idea how to accomplish this once I gain access to the files, but plan to do some research to see if I can find sites using this kind of interface. Next steps include trying my hand at basic website construction so I can begin to understand how I might connect my data with an interface.