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The Florida NOW online archive is a Wikipedia-style database for the records of the Florida National Organization for Women located in the University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections.

This wiki contains over 1,792 pages of documents, pictures, and other media.

Collection information

The Florida National Organization for Women collection is located at the University of Florida Smathers Libraries in the Special and Area Studies Collections. The collection contains documents including "officers' and members' correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas, reports, budgets, newsletters, and other records which chronicle the development and activities of Florida NOW from its founding in 1973 until 2003." [1]

Site information

This archive runs on MediaWiki open source content management software. Websites like Wikipedia and other popular repositories use this software, but this wiki is different from the Wikipedia project because it also contains commentary about the documents and people in the collection. This situated narrative is designed to help users in their research by providing context or summary to help understand the material.

Navigating the site

To preserve the physical collection's original organization, this wiki stores each digitized document with information referencing the original box and folder location. You can navigate the collection using this method by clicking on the box and folder listings at the bottom of each page in the navigation box. For a listing of the entire archive, consult the Smathers finding aid.

The search box above can locate keywords in all of the current resources in all the archival collection. Indexing is performed automatically by the server software and is most effective at searching through typed page text. The documents hosted on the wiki have been OCR'd, but the MediaWiki software is unable to search through each file's OCR information. To bypass this limitation, the documents have been transcribed into page text so that each can be included in the search. Under each transcription, the original scan has been embedded to make referencing easier. Another method to navigating the archive is to list documents by local chapter. Click on the chapter listings on the left side of the page to begin researching. The best method for navigating this wiki is by using the categories listed on the bottom of each page. You can navigate through several key themes discussed in the documents, boxes and folders, and by chapter listing. On each category page, the headnote will include general information about the topic and the server software indexes documents within the archive containing this theme. The issue with this method is that categorization is applied to each page and it does not apply to sections. If you are researching a specific theme, the search bar at the top of each page may be more direct.

This page discusses some common questions that might come up when browsing on the site.

The important thing about the wiki project is that it is a continual work in progress. The project will never be complete. Collections themselves are never complete as more information pours into the library. Instead of viewing the information on this site as a box with a lid, it can be thought of as a river of information that can be directed to different locations.

Collaboration in editing is key to the final usefulness of the site. Mediawiki is designed to be a platform for large groups of users and can handle many changes at a time. In general, most pages could benefit from edits. Whether you come across a page with a typo or confusing wording, or you feel that a page could use added information, please feel free to make a change or leave a comment.

It might take a while for you to get used to the site structure, but when you get the hang of it, you'll find it organized and very useful. Mediawiki is a huge project with many available extensions and add-ons to make the site behave in different ways. If you find a tool that you feel could be of benefit to the site, make a comment on a Discussion page to propose adding it to the server.

Finding a page

The search box at the top-right corner of every page can help you find pages by phrase. Just type in the box what you'd like to find and press Enter . If the site finds an exact match, it will redirect you to that page. If it returns several close results, you'll be redirected to a search results page where you can specify what you're looking for. You can search for pages with content, multimedia (photos and audio), help pages, everything (including technical template pages). The Advanced search option gives you more control over your search.

Editing a page

If you see a typo or something you feel that you're able to correct, click "Edit" at the top-right of the page. Feel free to fix these errors and re-word the grammar as you see fit. If you'd like to add information to a page, be sure to include references to where you found information.

Be clear, concise, and don't worry about mistakes!

If something is completely wrong, an editor will come back later and change the information or link to be correct.

If you don't feel comfortable editing the site or you feel unsure about your edit, you can comment on the page by clicking on the "Discussion" tab and explaining what you found. Commenting will help other editors make changes and can be used as a space for a meta discussion about the site itself.

If you'd like to create a new page, be sure to add references. These can either be internal links to documents in the collection or to external sites. When adding external links, please use the WayBack machine to archive the page. For more information on this, please see this blog post.

For any edit that you make to the site, please provide a short explanation in the Summary box. This will help editors understand what changes you've made and why you did it. If you're making a lot of edits, summaries can also help you remember what you've done if you have to go back and undo your actions.

Author information

This site was created by Tim D'Annecy, a graduate student at the University of Florida Women's Studies and Gender Research Center as a digital companion to the physical collection in Smathers Library.


References

  1. "A Guide to the Records of the Florida National Organization for Women." Retrieved September 21, 2013. http://www.library.ufl.edu/spec/pkyonge/FLNOW.htm