DH Midterm: Jill and Harris


0 – Not meeting any expectation 1 – Below Expectation 2 – Meet basic expectation 3 – Above expectation 4 – Excellent
Content displayed -Difficult to understand what the research question is

-Obvious and relevant information missing

-Research question is not clear

-Information is lacking in content

-Research question is present but lacks clarity

-Content is understandable but lacks clarity or has obvious flaws

-Research question is outlined clearly but not the first thing the user sees

-Content is appropriate but lacking certain material

-Research question clearly defined and present

-Content is relevant and complete

Presentation -No visualizations -Visuals are not of good quality

-Some scattered and unorganized visuals are present

-Decent framework of images and/or text, but lacks balance between visual and text -Adequate visuals are present -Visually captivating

-Simplistic and engaging, good balance of text and visuals

Visualization -Presentation lacked any interactive elements -Presentation is scattered and disorganized

-The interactive elements are not presented clearly

-Presentation is okay but could be better

-The interactive elements are present but not easy to navigate

-Presentation is acceptable with minimal mistakes

-The interactive elements are present but contain minimal problems

-The project possesses impressive interactive elements

-Writing clear with no mistakes

Accessibility -Hyperlinks are not present or nonfunctional

-Project is not navigable

-Hyperlinks are present but not easy to find and some are nonfunctional

-Project difficult to navigate

-Hyperlinks are present but not great quality

-Project is easy to navigate but complex

-Hyperlinks function

-Project is easy to navigate and simple

-Hyperlinks function well and are relevant

-Project is navigable and intuitive

Sustainability and Possibility of Growth -Does not have continuous funding

-Website is completely not working

– Have some funding

– Part of the website is not functioning

-Have small amount of funding

-Website is working but lack of up to date maintenance

-Have some continuous funding

-Website is working under maintenance but does not have a lot of traffic

-Have sufficient amount of continuous funding

-Website is constantly updated and maintained with high traffic

Academic Importance -Does not contribute to any academic field

-Never used by scholars or public

-Have a little contribution to a specific field of study

-Seldomly used by scholars and public

-Have some contribution to a certain field

-Sometimes used by scholars and public for a specific area of study

-Have some contribution to a variety of academic fields

-Often used by some scholars and public

-Have a huge contribution and importance to various field of study

-Always used by scholar and public studying different fields

Credibility -No citations at all in the project

-Obvious factual mistake

-Not all citations are present or are in improper form

-Some easily noticeable content flaws

-Citations are present but in a improper form

-A few content flaws and factual mistakes are minimal

-Citations are generally correct

-Content flaws are minimal

-Citations are well-presented

-No content flaws or factual mistakes






Content Displayed: 3/4

The Perseus Digital Library homepage has information regarding its most recent blog posts, release announcements, and popular texts. There is also a toolbar at the top of the page with different options the user can select. The tabs include, ‘Collections/Texts’, ‘Perseus Catalog’, ‘Research’, ‘Grants’, ‘Open Source’, ‘About’ and ‘Help’. The user has to select the ‘About’ tab in order to access a page that explains the research questions and purpose of the website. The content is not so much lacking certain material, because the material is available, but it is not immediately present to the user. Within the ‘About’ page, the user finds that the Perseus Digital Library exists to explore possibilities and challenges of digital collections. The research question is “what happens when libraries move online? We gave The Perseus Digital Library a 3 out of 4 because the research question was not immediately in front of the user as the project was accessed.


Presentation: 2.5/4

The Perseus Digital Library project is one based on textual objects. There are not many visual graphics that need to be displayed. The project is text-heavy and daunting when a user opens the website. There is not much balance between the visuals and text. However, the framework for the text is very simple and manageable for all users, there is just quite a bit of it. That being said, we gave the project a 2.5 out of 4 because we think that it straddles a decent framework as well as adequate visual design.


Visualization: 4/4

As mentioned above, there is a lot of a text within the project. The text is clear, concise and does not have any writing mistakes. Additionally, when sifting through the collections and texts that the digital library contains, the tools are interactive and make the process of reading quicker and easier. For instance, imagine the user selects a certain book. There is a sidebar that allows the user to jump from Chapter 1 to Chapter 10 in one click. Furthermore, there is a tool at the top of the page that presents the book in a timeline fashion. The reader can see which chapter is the longest, allowing the user to skip from chapter to chapter with this feature in addition to the toolbar. Also, the user can automatically look for certain people, dates, or locations. One of the coolest visualizations is the map. This visualization pinpoints all of the locations discussed within the text using a google map. Due to all of these impressive interactive elements and clarity in the writing, we gave this project a 4 out of 4 for visualization.


Accessibility: 2/4

This is the weakest part of the Perseus Digital Library project. In regards to the hyperlinks, some links are broken. For example, under the funding tab, ‘The Dynamic Lexicon’ link is broken and does not work. Additionally, the project is easy to navigate but it is complex. It is complex due to the breadth of information that is on the website. We are not sure if there is a better way to organize the material, but in some cases, the user has to click through many links in order to finally get to where they want to be. In regards to the goal of the project, which is to increase the accessibility of Pre Modern texts, it does succeed in doing so. However, it is a complex website due to the vast information. Therefore, we gave this project a 2 out of 4 for accessibility.


Sustainability and Possibility of Growth: 4/4

The Perseus Digital Library is funded through various sources, which are all listed under the Grant page of the project. Different fundings from distinct sources go to a specific part of the project and are well-described in the project. Moreover, as we see the funding list, it only shows the active grants that support the research. The project first started in 1985 and it is still getting funded today. As a result, we are really optimistic that it will keep being funded in the future and the library collection will keep growing.  In the description, it lists the two major funding sources which offer 2.8 million and 2.5 million for the past two decades. These two huge amounts of continuous fundings is the main reason we give the section of sustainability a 4 out of 4. Also, in the front page of the project and in their own blog, the developers keep a good track of the updates of the materials in the project and different versions that have been launched. The constant updates and maintenance make sure that the project can last and be active for a long time.


Academic Importance: 4/4

The mission of The Perseus Digital Library is to make a full record of humanity, from various fields of studies. The whole collection consists of texts and documents from different time periods and different cultures. The concreteness of the collection and the amount of detailed descriptions in each catalog of the collection can be useful for a wide range of studies and research. Since the library is open to public, everyone can use it as a resource for research. Due to the large amount of data stored in the library, we believe that it is constantly used by scholars. As mentioned above, the website is being constantly updated, which is also an indicator for the amount of traffic that the project gets. Moreover, the project lists its current ongoing researches to let the public know about the work they are doing. For the above reasons, we give the project a 4 out of 4 for academic importance.



Every document or text in this project is properly cited and well-presented. There is no visible mistake or flaw in either the design of the project or the content displayed. Every picture it used has been credited to the original photographer. One thing we think that makes this project a professional one is that it has a list of people who are evolved in the project and those in charge. Reading each of their introduction page and getting to know the team that is behind the project offer the user more information and will make this project more reliable. Moreover, there is a list of publications that are works of the staff and collaborators of the project. The amount of information that is being offered make us believe that the work presented to us is trustworthy.


~ Jill Fu & Harris Pollack