By now you will have noticed that Common-place is sporting a new look. Our new design is a result of a year-long process of community outreach and research, editorial input, and digital design and web development by the University of of Connecticut’s Department of Digital Media and Design. We hope you will be pleased with the results. The new site is designed to augment the journal’s unique role in early American scholarship by moving it to a new publishing platform that will better support its growth as a scholarly, pedagogical and digital resource. Toward that end, Common-place now runs on WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system which is behind nearly half of all websites worldwide, including by such publications as The San Francisco Examiner and The Nation. This allows for a better reader search experience and search engine retrieval.
Another goal which our new look–and the technology behind it–achieves is optimizing the reading experience across a range of computing devices. The responsive design and adaptive typography automatically measures the size and orientation of the reader’s screen and adjusts font size and line length to the reader’s device. This better assures comfortable reading across multiple device platforms, from desktops to smart phones.
What you’ll find here
The Common-place Homepage still features the table of contents of the latest issue, including feature articles in the upper left hand column and roundtables in the upper right hand column. Book reviews and your favorite Common-place columns, including Notes on the Text, Poetic Research, Ask the Author, and Tales from the Vault, are immediately below. All of our columns can also always be found from the main navigation at the top of ever page on the website.
Other highlights of the new website include an improved Web Library, powered by Zotero, an open-source reference manager.
For now, previous issues can be found at common-place-archives.org in the old format. Over the course of the fall and winter, however, we will be migrating the entire Common-place back catalog to the new database. When this work is finished, a new Archives page will allow for sophisticated faceted searching of all of our past issues.
More to Come in Months Ahead
Once the task of migrating Common-Place‘s extensive back catalog to the new site is complete, readers will have new tools for searching and sorting site content. In addition to the usual search box where one can enter custom queries, all articles, reviews, etc., will be tagged with relevant Library of Congress-derived subject headings. Once fully implemented, this system will enable readers interested in, “Native Americans/Indigenous Peoples,” for example, to quickly identify all relevant content–from Volume 1, No. 1 on to the current issue. In addition, readers will be able to sort by column type and issue number. In short, Common-place will become easier to search, easier to read and easier to share with students and colleagues.
Common-place is celebrated for its openness to unconventional content types and experimental texts. We maintain this commitment with the new site, which features a Projects page where you will find such Common-place projects as Just Teach One, Just Teach One Early African American Print, and more.
Finally, at the bottom of every page in the footer, you will find info about the editorial team, information about how to contribute, author guidelines, and more.
We hope you enjoy the new Common-place.
This article originally appeared in issue 15.4 (Summer, 2015).