Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association Case Study

Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association builds XML content editing system with Altova Authentic, streamlining authoring and delivery of XML-based historical information to the Web.

The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association/ Memorial Hall Museum in Old Deerfield, Massachusetts uses Altova Authentic for use in writing, editing, and publishing historical content related to their new historical National Endowment for the Humanities funded Web site project entitled, "The Many Stories 1704: The French & Indian Raid on Deerfield."

The goal of their Web site is to provide an account of the roots and legacies of this important historical event, through the perspectives of the five different cultural groups involved in the raid. The event is pivotal because it illuminates underlying intercultural, interracial, and international conflicts that left a profound legacy that influenced the English colonies up to the opening of the American Revolution, and which influences New England to this day. The project team includes scholars, teachers, tribal council leaders, curators, archivists, writers, and a design team that includes a world-famous illustrator.

"Our project design called for a Web site which could contain a great deal of content and allow us to give equal weight to five different cultural perspectives on the historical event. Because of the high volume of information being created, we needed an efficient way to go about development. Previously, content would be authored by a subject expert, then handed off to a technical staff person, who would then manually apply formatting and styles to create an HTML document suitable for use on the Web. Authentic allows us to bypass this intermediate step through the use of customized templates and layouts for character narratives, object descriptions, and scenes, which automatically populate their content onto the Web site without need to hand-off information to a programmer," said project manager Lynne Spichiger.

Spichiger added, "Authentic streamlines the content authoring and delivery process for Web material by removing the need for manual cutting and pasting, or any other costly error prone manual intervention; rather, the written historical content makes its way directly to the Web site where it can then easily be reviewed, stored, or reused for future projects or other formats in various media without hands-on intervention. We view this streamlined process to be an especially important benefit to museums and historical societies, whose mission entails cataloging and storing volumes of historical and cultural data."