June 11, 2010
Digital Project Saves Wabash Memories

Preserving the past and the present for the future.

Established in 2004, Wabash Valley Visions & Voices Digital Memory Project (WV3) is dedicated to the documentation and the preservation of the Wabash Valley’s history and cultural heritage. With twenty-four partners across five counties in west central Indiana, the “Visions Project” is based at Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library and includes contributions from libraries, museums, cultural organizations and community groups. WV3 provides free access to its digital collection via the Internet and promotes remembrance and lifelong learning. The digital collections are fully searchable and contain artifacts, administrative and personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, texts, yearbooks, maps, oral histories, and audio/visual files. The collections can be accessed at http://visions.indstate.edu.

ISU student Emily Darts scans material on the St. Mary Coal Mine

Now in its sixth year, Wabash Valley Visions & Voices continues to engage area residents by furnishing a place to preserve, commemorate, and present their history. The Visions Project welcomes contributions from people with roots in west central Indiana and works with them to provide a personal perspective that exemplifies life in the Valley over time. Indiana State University students assist with the documentation of the past and the present as they gain experience in the nascent field of Digital History.

Education

Rural Community Academy 7th graders get assistance from Mrs. April Benda as they use WV3 to research local history

The collections available through Wabash Valley Visions & Voices provide items that may be used by teachers to enrich classroom instruction and by students to aid in homework assignments or research papers. It is possible for individual schools and classrooms to join the project as contributors to a collection specifically created to represent the school or class. Through this collection teachers may share lesson plans and activities, and students may add their papers, projects or art. WV3 partners are available to schedule visits or host off-site workshops for schools and teachers who want to incorporate WV3 collections into their curriculum.

Special Collections

WV3 supports the ongoing research and digitization projects of its partners. Special topical collections are available that reflect both individual and collaborative efforts to enhance access to subject-oriented material. These collections include: Early Vincennes, 1732-1835; Civil War letters; and the Special Olympics Indiana History Project. Currently underway is an endeavor to digitize and provide access to Civil War material related to Vigo County in time for the upcoming sesquicentennial observance of the conflict.

Coal miner carvings by Harold Bowden, from the Coal Town and Rail Museum, Clinton, Indiana

The “O Miners Awake: Indiana Coal Miners, their Families and their Communities” project (http://visions.indstate.edu/visions/coal.html) continues to add material and now provides an online Coal Miner Registry form to assist in the gathering of data about Hoosiers involved in the industry.

WV3 is the repository chosen by the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency to house its Newport Chemical Depot History collection (http://visions.indstate.edu/visions/partners/necd.html). This special collection was created to honor the men and women who served at the facility during its operation.

Future Directions

Future plans for Wabash Valley Visions & Voices include a new biographical venture that focuses on the life of Margaret Gisolo, a woman from Vermillion County, whose talent on the baseball diamond brought her national recognition as the “Girl Babe Ruth;” and the development of an interactive historical tour of the 12 Points Neighborhood in Terre Haute. The project will continue its outreach to K-16 educators through the creation of the WV3 Classroom where teachers and students will discover and share educational resources linked to primary source material in the database.

WV3 Partners: City of Terre Haute; Clabber Girl Museum; Clinton Public Library; Educational Heritage Association; Eugene V. Debs Museum; Indiana State University Archives; Indiana State University Bayh College of Education; Indiana State University Communications and Marketing; Indiana State University Folklore Archives; Indiana State University Library; Knox County Public Library; Little Italy Festival Town, Inc. (L.I.F.T.); Lost Creek Grove Preservation and Restoration, Inc.; Native American Museum; Princeton Public Library; Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College; Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods; Sullivan County Historical Society; Sullivan County Public Library; Town of Seelyville; Vigo County Historical Society; Vigo County Public Library; and the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society.

Wabash Valley Visions & Voices Partners

Be a Part of Local History! Wabash Valley Visions & Voices welcomes new partners and the contributions of area residents. To learn more about how you can participate in the project, contact:

Cinda May, project coordinator
Cunningham Memorial Library
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN 47809
Phone: 812-237-2534
Fax: 812-237-2567
Email: Cinda.May@indstate.edu
Website: http://visions.indstate.edu
Posted In: Spotlight

One response to “Digital Project Saves Wabash Memories”

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing this information, I do not know about everyone else, but I can totally make use of it.

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