About the Project
Commissioned by the Cape Ann Slavery & Abolition Trust, the project objective was to create an online archive of the work done by historians Mary Ellen Lepionka and Stephanie Buck documenting the history of slavery in the Cape Ann area of Massachusetts.
Their extensive research into the complex relationships between slavery and New England’s ties to the Triangular Trade needed to be presented in a way that would be easy to navigate, and engage the site’s users. It was decided that the site would be divided into seven main modules, each containing a treasure trove of meticulous research and historic images and photographs. There was also a need for sidebars and sub-sections dealing with such aspects of the story as Cuban coffee plantation life and biographies of key figures.
One of the first design/usability issues tackled was the inclusion of footnotes in the site’s text. Using the Inline Footnotes plugin by Gavin Rehkemper, it was possible to include the note in a shortcode so when the footnote number was hovered over, the info would appear over the text.
Another design challenge was providing the reader a way to quickly navigate through the modules which could be quite lengthy. We decided to include anchor links in the title banner on each module’s header. This made it much easier for readers to find out what topics were included and jump to the material quickly.