Take a journey through time when you visit these five Sicilian attractions. Medievalists and Italian culture enthusiasts will enjoy an abundance of architectural masterpieces that serve as standing icons of Sicily’s Norman past. The Norman period (c. 1061 – 1194) encompasses a culturally rich point in Sicily’s history during which the island experienced transformative sociopolitical changes. Despite the significant amount of time that has passed since the Norman period, its influence remains relevant to the twenty-first-century traveler and scholar.
When I heard about the opportunity to be part of The Norman Sicily Project, I was immediately interested in learning more. After reading the job description, I was even more eager to apply and I was beyond thrilled when I was offered a position on the team. Being a history major, with a particular interest in medieval Italian history, I was captivated by the pictures of the ornate details of the monasteries and churches.
Throughout my time working with The Norman Sicily Project, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about so many different areas of study that I never would have experienced otherwise. Recently, I’ve been working on confirming the existence of the churches during the Norman period. In these past few weeks, I’ve gotten a glimpse at how historians use sources for their research. I had no idea how hard this was until I had to do it myself.
You might have noticed that The Norman Sicily Project’s website has recently undergone a lot of changes. Over the past few months, we’ve been working on creating a new interface for the site. Here’s a little behind the scenes of how we did everything. First Things First The first thing you should have when redesigning a website is a goal. What do you want from the new site? What can be improved upon from the current site?
In my journey with The Norman Sicily Project, the nature of my work has grown alongside the project’s progression. In this evolution, I have been given a number of invaluable opportunities to learn new skills and refine pre-existing ones. The process of cataloging and assigning metadata to images has improved my organizational abilities and understanding of file structures. This facet of the job has been incredibly beneficial to my aspirations of working in the post-production aspect of filmmaking- a department where organization is not only key, but, has the force of scripture.
Sustainability, accessibility, and storytelling are at the heart of The Norman Sicily Project. Earlier this year Professor of History Dawn Hayes received a prestigious grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities' Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program for her project, “Documenting the Past, Triaging the Present and Assessing the Future: A Prototype for Sicily’s Norman Heritage, ca. 1061-1194.” When I received an email from Dr. Hayes congratulating me on receiving a position as a Media and Metadata Assistant to work on the project, I was ecstatic.