This page contains my portfolio for my History 698: Digital History Techne course, taught by Fred Gibbs.

Database: Introduction

For purposes of this class, and my eventual dissertation, I’m creating a database of U.S. citizen claims against Mexico.

I initially created the database over the summer by inputting data into a spreadsheet. After I began class I imported the data into a mySQL database, versions of which are housed on my server and on my local drive. Below is the structure (comments are welcome).

Do I look like I know what I’m doing, or do I look completely clueless? Decide for yourself.

After initially planning to host the data in Omeka, I instead simply am keeping the data in the mySQL database. Why? As much as I love Omeka, I found it isn’t suitable for this type of database.

But photographs of documents from Record Group 76 at the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Maryland, will live in an Omeka collection eventually.

Dr. Peter Jonas has kindly shared his dissertation on the process of adjudicating the claims, and offered me advice on dealing with the files; his charts of the financials of each claim have greatly aided my compilation of data. For that, I am eternally grateful; this has allowed me to focus on gleaning other information from the files (e.g., name of the claimant, date of incident, monetary amounts involved, place of incident, residence of claimant, ship involved, description of incident).

The data in the claims, and the claims themselves, will be useful for my dissertation on U.S. and Mexican visitors to each others’ countries. The letters and memorials found in these files provide insight into the activities of U.S. citizens in Mexico in the decades leading to the 1846 war between the two countries.

Database: Links

To access our databases, we are creating various pages. Mine are in a directory of unformatted pages, and formatted ones that live on this WordPress site.




We are assembling a class blog and resources page, and also posting on our own blogs each week about problems we encounter and our progress. Here are my posts for this class.

Presentations & Tutorials

For class, we are also presenting on two topics, then posting tutorials on Programming Historian. My two topics are:

  • WordPress (presentation | tutorial)
  • Data manipulation (tutorial)

Links to my presentation and to my tutorials will be posted when I do them.

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