Finishing up!

Hey everyone! This is my final week in my internship with the Florida Historical Quarterly. To recap the summer and its goals:

I sought out an internship with Dr. Cassanello and the Florida Historical Quarterly podcast back in April, and Drs. French and Cassanello set up an internship meant o rebuild the Florida Historical Quarterly Podcast webpage. Initially, the webpage was built on a Blogger site, with each episode occupying a blog post on this website.

Our initial goal for the internship was to recreate the Florida Historical Quarterly Podcast in a storefront style webpage. Dr. Cassanello had previously created his “History of Central Florida” podcast series with the help of the University of Central Florida Library and the STARS team. Ms. Lee Dotson, the digital initiatives librarian at the John C. Hitt library immediately began working with us at the start of summer. From there, we consistently sent information back and forth as we added episodes and changed the layout of the STARS webpage. We finally settled on a design and began really adding information about 5 weeks in.

I also collaborated with Laura Cepero in the RICHESMI office in an effort to house our audio and video on the RICHESMI interface and database. Laura handled the uploading of the MP3 files to RICHESMI and also uploaded the MP4 files I created to YouTube so that we could add a streaming option to the new website.

From there, we added a variety of fields including:

  • Title
  • Downloading the podcast
  • Streaming the podcast
  • Description
  • Narrator
  • Interviewer
  • Interviewee
  • Date
  • Keywords
  • Length
  • Collection
  • Issue
  • Issue table of contents
  • Recommended Citation

One final thing I’m still working on is the inclusion of a hyperlink to the spotlit author or editor’s personal website/institutional website. This will allow users to find additional publishings by the other, possibly on a similar topic.

As you read this, I am probably working hard at finishing up the content uploads to the website before my final presentation of the project. I’m currently  doing large batch fills of a variety of last minute information and generally cleaning up the site. This process is not particularly difficult, just time consuming. The process of uploading the information, if you want to do it efficiently, requires a lot of preplanning. All of the information must be readily available so that you can fill the fields quickly. I’m the kind of person that determines the process as they go, but this task required much more planning on my part. By this time next week all of the final changes to the website will be done, and the final product presented to Drs. French, Cassanello, Lester, and Murphree.

My time in this internship has taught me a lot about collaboration and time management. Depending on other people for a part of your project really makes you get things going in a timely manner. Setbacks of an hour can lead to a day long setback if that hour falls when people are leaving their offices.

Ultimately, my time with the FHQ has been fun and interesting. I would definitely recommend any undergraduate or graduate student to seek out an internship with the journal. Interning in such an academic setting, no matter what your internship is, gives you a clear advantage over those who haven’t taken hold of these opportunities.

i hope everyone had a good summer, hopefully Fall is just as fun!




Nearing the End

Hello everyone!


This week in my internship I worked with Dr. Cassanello on our website, as well as collaborating with Laura Cepero and Lee Dotson of RICHESMI and the UCF Library.


In regards to Dr. Cassanello, our meetings this week consisted of figuring out information for the front page of the website, as well as determining the different things i need to finish by the end of my internship. I’ve worked on all of these things throughout the week finishing a few, while still having a good bit left to do.


Here’s the first page blurb i came up with (pending Dr. Cassanello’s approval):

“The Florida Historical Quarterly Podcast Project is part of a digital initiative within the Florida Historical Quarterly. The podcast is edited by Dr. Robert Cassanello and produced by Dr. Daniel Murphree.

The FHQ podcasts provide listeners with insight on the content published in the Florida Historical Quarterly and the authors and others who help create it. Published four times annually, the FHQ promotes scholarly research and appreciation for the peoples, places, and diversity of Florida’s past.”

This first section states those who work on the podcast (minus me since I’m a student and work under Dr. Cassanello), and the latter half of the blurb was taken from the FHQ Podcast iTunes pages.


In addition to this, I created social media button/widgets for the website.These include a facebook button that links to the Florida Historical Quarterly facebook, a itunes button that sends you to the iTunes page in your browser, and a final one that is a twitter button. This sends you to the Florida Historical Quarterly Twitter page.

THis is the HTML code I wrote to embed the button and images, I took the images from the FHQ website and the links come from the FHQ social media pages. The code may require some reworking, but I have the information I need to send to the library.

<a href=”“><img src=””FHQ on Facebook” /></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href=”“><img src=””FHQ Podcast” /></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href=”“><img src=””FHQ on Twitter” /></a>

In addition to the media buttons, I left the MP4s i created with Laura Cepero on Thursday. She uploaded them all to the RICHESMI YouTube, and gave me a link to all of them. On Monday I’m shooting these over to Lee Dotson, and all the MP4s should be on the website for streaming.



Finishing up old projects and planning new ones.

Hey everyone, this week might be a bit short due to some time crunches this week. I’ve had a lot going on with my British Empire course and my job with Dr. Cassanello, Florida Frontiers, and digital initiatives here at the University of Central Florida.

Regarding the future of the Florida Historical Podcast website, Dr. Cassanello has been preparing multiple things for me to continue doing until the end of my internship, and then to follow the internship if I am interested, which I am.

Last week Dr. Cassanello asked me to take note of the difference between the Florida Historical Quarterly podcast site hosted via STARS, and the History of Central Florida Podcast website (the inspiration for the FHQ site). Dr. Cassanello really appreciated how the library and the STARS crew set up the History of Central Florida site, but he thought it needed a more storefront sort of look. We accomplished that earlier in the semester by changing the layout and template for the STARS site to give it a storefront feel. Instead of layout, Dr. Cassanello wanted me to take inventory of the things the History of Central Florida site had that we have not begun working on.

The first thing I noticed was the main pages were slightly different. The History of Central Florida podcast project has a brief blurb explaining its content and purpose. We are currently figuring out a working blurb for the FHQ podcast site. Ms. Dotson also recently put the banner with the FHQ logo on the front page of the site for the podcast, which knocked that off my list.

Next I took a look the individual sites for the podcasts. The primary differences i reported to Dr. Cassanello were:

  • Social Media Buttons
  • iTunes buttons
  • Download counts
  • Professional pages
  • Related Materials
  • Maps
  • Related Images
  • Video Streaming of the the podcast

The first, Social Media buttons, was knocked out quickly as the STARS interface has a built in function for that. Ms. Dotson simply had to activate and place the buttons on the page for us. Next, we want an iTunes button for people to download the podcasts through the iTunes service if they use apple devices. After all, the podcast was invented by Apple! Next, I was informed that download counts only appear after 15 downloads of the podcast, so that is something that will come with time.

Off the topic of buttons, the professional pages for each podcast participant are available through the History of Central Florida podcast website. I thought that links fot the interviewee’s personal website, university site, or employment page would be useful in helping listeners find related material by that author. In addition to this, the next step would be provided related reading materials or further readings for the podcast to help those who want to learn more on a topic. This would likely come after the personal websites due to their related information and considering that the personal websites should be consulted for this information.

I don’t think maps or related images can be included with the time left in the semester, but I am interested in adding them later on. The maps are particularly hard to make due to the lack of spatial factors in the podcasts. Many of them may use locations for a portion of the argument, but they tend to focus on people, movements, or other vague things when it comes to mapping. Related images will simply be a time sink that will require the uploader to have some semblance of knowledge when it comes to each topic. This could be done, but not in our time frame.

Lastly, I am nearly done converting videos, so these will definitely be included on the podcast site this semester. I should have them finished over the weekend hopefully.


Dr. Cassanello and I have to work out what he wants to be finished by the en of the semester. He knows that the site is not a 12 week job, and i okay with breaking it up into another student’s internship or with me outside the internship. I’m always for working on projects to build the CV. See you next week!

Working hard at my mistakes, and more!

Hello everyone, this week’s blog post might be a bit short.

To discuss the developments of this week: our site was finally released by the library staff working with STARS! You can find it here at

With my time stretched thin between work, class, and this internship, I am still primarily working on the problems I discussed last week. I have three more videos to redo, which involves the uploading of the audio to Audacity, converting it from a more detailed MP3 file to a file that has no images interwoven within it, uploading that MP3 to Pinnacle and then reexporting the video file with the proper image attached. All in all, each process takes about 30 minutes to an hour and I’m closely watching them this time around.

In addition to that work Dr. Cassanello and I have contacted Ms. Lee Dotson (UCF STARS) in regards to a few minor changes regarding the site. One small thing that we didn’t think about when setting up the site was that the entries needed to be listed in reverse chronological order. Having the podcasts in traditional order would place the very first episode  as the one users first interact with on the site. We thought it would be best if the episodes were shown with the most recent first. My thought about this have to do with the idea that most readers/listeners will be searching for the podcast during the release of the latest issue. Ideally the two mediums will be working together. We also needed the FHQ banner added to the site, and we are currently working on getting the iTunes button so that those using iOS and Mac can directly download from the iTunes store rather than having to upload a file to iTunes.


I’m currently working on finding the differences between the FHQ podcast website and the History of Central FLorida website. We want to replicate the latter with the FHQ site. Basically I’m going through entries and finding what may be useful or may be different between the two. Currently, the pregenerated bibliographic notes are wrong and I am starting work on those next week. So see you then!


The Learning Process

Hey everyone!

This week at my internship with UCF and the Florida Historical Quarterly I made a bunch of mistakes!


In a few of my previous blog posts I had mentioned that I was working on creating video files, specifically MP3s, for the Florida Historical Quarterly podcast archive currently in the making with STARS at the UCF Library. I had talked about how I forgot to match the image length with the audio length, leading to a few seconds of video followed by nearly a half hour of black screen audio. I did fix all this when I ran across this problem, finally saving them to my Google Drive and the flash drive I carry around. This week i happened to check back on the files and make sure they were of a decent quality. Video quality isn’t of the utmost importance due to the purpose of the video being the streaming of the podcast, but I thought I’d check to see how they turned out. Here’s where I found my mistakes, or maybe they should just be called errors.

When I played the videos back they audio and video appeared correctly, with the timer starting at zero and the cover of the respective issue appearing in the center of the video. I contemplated remaking the videos because the image seemed a little grainy due to a 2000×4000 pixel image being squished into a 420p video, but I asked Dr. Cassanello and he said it was alright.After I got about 5 minutes into the video, I realized the timer had reached the end of its scale, but the audio and video were still running. I went back to the folder I had the videos stored in and checked the Length option to see how long Windows was marking them. The video vary between 20 and 40 minutes, but windows was claiming they were only anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes. I ran this by Dr. Cassanello and we tried to troubleshoot some problems with my version of Pinnacle by using his version on campus. Despite the computer change, it still produced the corrupted video.

Next, we began breaking down different parts of the process to figure out what was going wrong. We reexported the pdfs of the the FHQ covers to see if it was a problem with the image, but the program produced the same images with no problems. We also put the MP3s of the podcast back into audacity to see if anything was wrong there, but nothing came up. We then put both the image and the audio into Pinnacle, and this time something new came up. The audio had an image with it already, which must have come from the iTunes requirements for the podcast.

It runs out that if the audio has an image already paired with it, and you try to place another image on top of that it will ruin/corrupt the video files. To counter this, we put the audio back into audacity and exported it as a raw MP3, that way it had no extra data attached with it. When we used this audio the video came out perfectly.


All in all this week was another learning experience, and today Ms. Lee Dotson released the podcast website, which means we can begin working and uploading on the actual product! We’ll have something about that next week.

Things are brightening up!

Hey everyone,

This week Dr. Cassanello and I have finally heard back a bit about our STARS site built through UCF’s infrastructure. Ms. Lee Dotson emailed us asking for the front pages of the Florida Historical Quarterly issues associated with the various podcasts so that she could post the images of the issue with the first iteration of the site. I set up a time time meet with her to drop these off and in my email I mentioned I had them on Google Drive. Instead of making a special trip to campus, Ms. Dotson suggested I just share the files via Drive and that she prefered it that way. Finally some people are starting to use Drive!


In addition to waiting for the site to go live so we can continue adding information and features to the archive/storefront, I’ve been asked to experiment with different microphones and recording settings. I had mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but that was when I received the assignment. I’ve finally finished it.

I recorded myself talking in my office, living room, on the front porch, and at Lazy Moon. ideally, these locations changed the recorded audio based off of their properties. I also used three different setups of microphones during this.

The office I recorded is filled with two desks, a few full bookshelves, and a variety of other crafting things my girlfriend owns. When I recorded in this environment I found that a lot of the sound was being absorbed by the books in the room, making the recording extra quiet. Recording with the onboard mic produced a boomy and gain-filled recording, while recording with the separate microphones produced a stereo track that sound pretty good, but it still had lots of gain.

Next I recorded the same passage of the book I had read aloud in the office in my living room. This room has vaulted ceilings and a relatively open concept, so it’s just a large open room. When I recorded in this area, the absorption by the books was absolutely noticeable as the recording literally peaked the recorders levels. I had to lower the recording levels to produce a usable sound, but this room just created a significantly louder and echoed version of the recording in the office.

Next, I recorded outside on my front porch. This caused the mic levels to dramatically drop due to no echoes being produced since we were effectively in the open air. I raised the levels in an effort to catch the voices I was recording, eventually getting a useable recording that was probably the second bes sounding next t the office recording.

I also thought it would be interesting to record in a public place and analyze the differences. I invited my old roommate to lunch at Lazy Moon and he read a paragraph from Moby Dick. This recording initially maxed out the microphone’s sensitivity as there was a few dozen people loudly talking, sports, and people yelling for orders. I lowered the levels to about 50% of the normal levels and recorded my friend.

When I brought them to Dr. Cassanello he was satisfied with my work until he got to the Lazy Moon recording. Here he said it sounded like I had eliminated the gian issues all of the other recordings had. he asked me to continue recording things in with the same settings I did in Lazy Moon to see if that would permanently eliminate gain.

Waiting it out

Hey everyone, unfortunately this week will be a bit dry in content.

Dr. Cassanello and I have been waiting for Mrs. Lee Dotson to finish up on her work with the Florida Historical Quarterly podcast website. She’s currently finishing things up with the STARS database. When we met her about a month ago we left her with every episode of the podcast as well as the metadata I had collected over the end of the Spring semester and the beginning of Summer. Even though both of these have changed due to the extra metadata I created and the Winter 2016 episode releasing, she assured us that once the site was up and running that it would be easy to edit metadata and add other podcasts.

When the site finally goes live, we should have a variety of information to publish on the page, these include:

  • full episodes in audio format
  • full episodes in video format via YouTube
  • Table of Contents for each issue
  • bibliographic style entries
  • endnote/footnote style entries
  • a variety of metadata for each episode
  • links to the issue in JSTOR (for those no longer affected by the time-wall)

I’m soon beginning work on secondary sources or “further readings” for each topic covered in the podcasts. These will letinterested readers further explore the topic of their interest. A few of them have been a little more troublesome to find good sources to include due to their relative obscurity. For example, it was significantly easier to find some works regarding Jackson, Jacksonian America, and his time as governor of Florida versus finding works about Florida law and waste management

Once the website is up, our next step is to complete these further readings and begin working on the “FHQ in the Classroom” segment of the website. The “FHQ in the Classroom” will give applicable podcasts a element for middle and high schoolers. All of these teaching plans/assignments should conform to the Sunshine State Standards, and I’ve emailed a close family friend who is an educator here in Florida to insure I am going about matching assignments to standards when the time comes. She has agreed to look over some of the work I’m doing to see if it will transfer into the classroom easily.

Hopefuly by next week we can have a “grand unveiling” of the site with most of the information inputted. We’ll just have to see.

Recordings and microphones

This week during my internship I continued to convert MP3s to video format for their inclusion into the Florida Historical Quarterly website being built  through UCF’s STARS website service. In addition to this I also began compiling more extensive metadata and learning the differences in recording hardware for further work on the FHQ Podcast.


After meeting with Dr. Cassanello this week, I realized I had been creating my MP4 files incorrectly the whole time. The process I was following consisted of combining the MP3 of the podcasts with the image of the Quarterly front page. After putting them both in the Pinnacle video editing software, I would export them to an MP4 file, creating what would be the YouTube video.

The problem with this is that I assumed the program would extend the image over the video’s length. It did not. Instead, pinnacle only created an image for the video during the first few seconds.

All in all, I had to go back through every video and recreate it, dragging the image through the video length.


I also started working on more extensive and detailed metadata. My previous metadata was created off of the exact terms used in the podcasts. For example, when talking about the Civil Rights Movement I just labeled exactly that. Instead, I could also add the years the movement was active and more specific nomenclature regarding Florida’s civil rights movement. I also continued trying to mal the location of the podcasts topically. Some of them have ambiguous or vague locations, while others are focused on a single modern address. This work is a bit secondary to the metadata and the video creation right now, but I should have it finished in not too long.


Dr. Cassanello also filled my time this week with some training on recording hardware. I should be in this position for the Summer issue of the podcast, and he wants me to be knowledgeable about recording by then.

What Dr. Cassanello has me working with is a digital recorder and a variety of microphones. The recorder has an omnidirectional microphone built into it, and Dr. Cassanello also have me a unidirectional microphone. The goal of this is to help me understand the microphones necessary for different recording situations. Eventually he would like me to practice with the condenser microphone the use on the podcasts, but I’m working with cheaper alternatives currently.

Hopefully by next week our STARS site will be finished and we can begin adding all of the content I’ve been working with. Once the site is published and and we are able to see the fields present, we will be able to create more content.


Soon I will begin working more on teaching plans and ideas, as well as secondary and primary source supplements for the podcasts. I’ll be sure to keep you updated!

Converting MP3s to MP4s

Hey everyone, this week in my internship I have basically continued with my work from last week.

I’ve received all of the resources I needed from Dr. Lester to create youtube video versions of the Florida Historical Quarterly Podcasts. I’ve been using each individual issue’s front cover as well as the MP3s for the podcasts to crate an MP4 video that will later be uploaded to the website, RICHES MI, and Youtube itself. This process is pretty time intensive, so it has been consuming a lot of the time dedicated to the internship. Each video takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes to make. Dr. Cassanello and I have been using Premiere, a video editing software, to create these MP4s. The program is very intuitive, especially for someone who has had no experience editing or creating video!

I’m also currently still creating bibliographic entries for all of the FHQ Podcasts. Dr. Cassanello recommended this during our initial meeting with the FHQ faculty in May and the presence of bibliographic notes will hopefully let students cite our work in the classroom. Podcasts are inherently hard to cite as most student wouldn’t consider them a source, but if the note is present on the website it will let those students get one step closer to using the podcast as a source. I know plenty of students who stick to typical sources due to their lack of knowledge when it comes to creating citations and pre-generated citations should allow the podcasts to be cited in as many places as possible.

The rest of the work all depends on Mrs. Lee Dotson’s timeline with creating the STARS website. Currently, the website has not been published, nor has anyone been given administrative rights. Once the website is set up, Mrs. Dotson should give Dr. Cassanello and me rights to edit, which will allow for us to put in more specific information as well as the MP4s. With the MP4s on the website, a user will be able to stream the podcast directly from the browser without having to download it.

I’ve alos begun matching the podcasts to a physical location on GoogleMaps. We decided that small maps to show where the articles are talking about would be useful for students and viewers. Giving the podcast a spatial element lets users connect with the material that much more, in some cases they may actualy go visit some of the public history sites mentioned.

Reaching for STARS

Hello! Hopefully everyone got to stop by the FHS Annual meeting and Symposium to see all of the interesting panels and scholarship being produced by Florida scholars. My session went great, which meant I got to start the week off on a good note.

This past week my internship with the Florida Historical Society led me to Mrs. Lee Dotson’s office in the University of Central Florida Library. Mrs. Dotson is the Digital Humanities Librarian here at the University of Central Florida and she focuses on the multiple digital initiatives the university offers to students and faculty. My meetings consisted of Dr, Cassanello, Mrs. Dotson, and Mr. Richard Harrison talking out the STARS platform, the chosen host for the Florida Historical Quarterly Podcast. STARS is a webhosting service through UCF that focuses on the creation of archives, databases, and other scholarly research, while giving the researcher a stable host through the university. We discusses replicating the History of Central Florida podcast website, but Mrs. Dotson introduced us to a new site format that the Smokejumper Oral History Project has used. This format broadcasts the podcast as a product much more than the History of Central Florida format does. We left Mrs. Dotson with all of the MP3 files for the podcasts, as well as the metadata I had previously created.

I have been creating bibliographic entries for the podcasts and the STARS website. I’ve been making both note and bibliography form for students or researchers who find our topics and discussions interesting and worth citing. Hopefully the presence of the citations on the website will encourage people to use the resource as an actual source, where they may have excluded it due to its unusual nature compared to monographs and interviews, or other primary and secondary sources. (I know I have done this before.)

Later this same week, I also met with Laura Cepero who works for RICHES MI. I had been tasked with bringing the podcasts to her in MP3 form with the metadata. Putting the podcast on RICHES will hopefully offer a larger viewership and give the project a bit of a running start when it comes to the social media ideas that are going to me implemented later this semester.

I also met with Dr. Connie Lester last week in an effort to obtain the front covers and table of contents for the issues that have corresponding podcasts. The covers will be used as static images for people to assign an issues with the podcast they are listening to. The table of contents will hopefully draw readers to the issue itself, allowing them to read the article or articles the podcast is discussing.