Digital Delivery of History

Ran across “Clouds over Cuba” today, a digital interpretation of the Cuban Missile Crisis produced by the JFK Library.

The site won a Webby for its navigation/structure. I agree that it is an inventive, creative solution to navigation.

However, to me, it represents a fascinating way of delivering digital history.

First, it has an accessible documentary about the Crisis, broken into chunks/chapters of about 3-5 minutes. Perfect length. Content isn’t superficial, nor is it too complex.

Second, you “earn” a dossier — a file of primary sources. This is awesome. You don’t actually do anything to earn the sources, but as you watch the documentary, sources that relate to the content in the video are added to your dossier.

Then, you can go see these primary sources. They have everything from recordings of phone calls and meetings, photos, letters, notes, radio addresses by Kruschev, newspaper articles and more. I believe there are 187 items in the dossier when you’re done.


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