Timeline Assignment

Assignment Overview:

We’ve been focusing on Tarlton’s Jests as a way to understand Richard Tarlton. Now we’re going to take a step back and look at the context in which he lived. The 1580s were a turbulent time in England, with politics, religion, and art all intersecting to define what we know as the Elizabethan era.

Increasingly, Digital Humanities is experimenting ways in which time can serve as a type of data to be used along with spatial and textual analysis. Time is subjective, and so negotiating temporal analysis of data is complex – to say the least. But in the case of an obscure historical figure who lived in a rich and intense time period, it can add a valuable layer of understanding.  In this assignment we will consider the interconnectedness of the period – the people that Tarlton might have known but certainly would have been aware of, as well as many events that would have shaped him and his fellow Englishmen and women.

Assignment Objectives:

  1. Develop an understanding of how we think of events as being rooted in time, and how timelines help us to make sense of historical events.
  2. Continue to create a collaborative work environment in which researchers rely upon and enhance their own work process through sharing and supporting one another in the development of a group project.

Assignment Outline:

  1. Each student will choose TWO subjects: one (1) event or place and one (1) person from the first group of people (Choose your subjects from the table below).
  2. Each student will write two brief overviews – one for each of their subjects – on the course website.
  3. Together we will collaborate to create a rich interlinking online timeline using the web platform “Timeline JS“.

Assignment Instructions:

  1. On the course website write a paragraph of 150-175 words about each of your subjects. Include at least one major incident related to your subject that occurred in the 1580s.
    1. Include one key image.
    2. Include a link to at least one of your classmates’ webpages that relates to your subject
    3. Cite your sources.
    4. Make sure to check the Category “Timeline.”
    5. On the course spreadsheet called “England in the 1580s” (https://docs.google.com/a/bucknell.edu/spreadsheets/d/1LPM5BwbAO8nukQ4SyzXvtWaJn4t6fEOJ18Q7FwGKv0M/edit?usp=sharing) fill in a row of data about one major event related to your subject that occurred in the 1580s. Be as specific about the data as you can be (e.g. certainly include a year – if you know a month and/or day add that as well) If you know a beginning and end date, add those in the identified columns. If more than one major incident occurred, add a row for each incident.
  2. Include a media element (e.g. painting, video clip, etc.) that represents your person/event/place. In the text field add a link to your paragraph on the course website in this format:
<a href="http://#link#/">Some text</a>

So, for example:

<a href="http://diggingdigital.blogs.bucknell.edu/2015/09/27/death-of-richard-tarlton/">Richard Tarlton dies of the plague on 3 September 1588.</a>

Resource Assistance:

You may use Wikipedia as your introductory source, but also refer to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (the ODNB is available via the Bucknell Library website). Whether your subject is a person, or the event or place your are researching is connected prominently with a person, the ODNB will provide significant and scholarly information about those people involved.


The assignment will be assessed on 1) your ability to properly populate the timeline spreadsheet so that text, image, dates, and links are active; and 2) the well-formedness of your associated website paragraph.

  • The assignment is worth 10% of your course grade.
  • Students may choose one person from the Extra Credit list, but only after work on the two assigned subjects is completed. Extra credit will be worth one point on your course grade.