Remix

The idea to remix the pages of Clarke’s scrapbook emerged during a collaborative project proposal session the class held online.  I asked the students three questions, including what should the Alma Clarke project look like online?  Because the scrapbooks existed digitally already, courtesy of Special Collections Library at Bryn Mawr College, we had the freedom to think more creatively about how we could use them to tell the story of the Great War through Alma A. Clarke’s eyes.

We had puzzled for a long time over how Clarke composed her scrapbook. The album includes many loose pages, so the original order was impossible to discern.  Clarke also tucked items from second World War in between the pages, which caused us to ponder about precisely how long after the Great War she continued to work on them.

We also spent a great deal of time analyzing the composition of the scrapbooks.  While some of the pages were clearly completed during the war, most obviously those written in the soldiers’ own hand, other pages were clearly created later, such as the photo of Clarke “At home at last!.”  Because we also had access to Clarke’s wartime papers, which included many more photographs, it became clear she often wrote names, dates, and places on the backs, which would have allowed her, years later, to label the photos she chose to paste in her album.

One student, Anna Nuzzolese suggested that we might “redivide” the scrapbook into thematic sections based on the stories each student had decided to pursue in his or her own research.  Because we are using Thinkglink to annotate the page images, which includes an option called “remix,” that description of our process seemed appropriate.

We hope that you will enjoy the remixes, which you can explore from the Categories dropdown menu to the right, and if you are so moved, remix the pages yourself!  Clarke’s endlessly fascinating albums offer myriad narratives of how one woman saw the Great War.