Ok. I have done two project proposals this semester. The first one fell through due to lack of geographic data. It might work in another year if the samples are identified geographically.
I have another one, less spatial analysis possible but more descriptive. I have many text files to read to gather the spatial data from. This project has potential to be a cultural history map.
I have scanned 15 minute maps, from the mid-1930s to the mid-1970s. I might be missing one or two from the study area, need to see about getting them.
I was successful in georeferencing one of the maps two weeks ago at the end of lab time, thought I was home free. Worked last lab at georeferencing the rest, but it didn't work. They were all half a degree off; when I put in correct coordinates the map would distort, squished together sideways. It looked OK if I put the wrong coordinates. I fooled around with the projection properties in the data frame because the distortion looked like a projection error to me. Could not find a projection that would remove the distortion.
So far, have not found a reason for this happening, have not found any more information on possible reason/solution on ESRI web site yet. Need to find a forum.
Other steps - need to contact DEQ source for historic maps, see if I can copy the Atchafalaya maps onto a portable hard drive. A little bird told me source is going to retire this spring, need to move fast.