Wabash Valley Visions and Voices to digitize local Civil War material

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
June 10, 2010

Wabash Valley Visions and Voices (WV3), a local digital memory project, recently received a Library Services and Technology Act Mini-Digitization Grant from the Indiana State Library to digitize Vigo County Civil War material.

Through this grant, Indiana State University's Cunningham Memorial Library, the Vigo County Public Library, the Vigo County Historical Society and the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods will collaborate to digitize more than 1,000 Civil War related items.

As next year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, repositories similar to WV3 across the state are being urged to locate and digitize Civil War material in time for sesquicentennial celebrations, said Cinda May, project coordinator and Indiana State University assistant librarian..

Items to be digitized include field journals, letters, discharge papers, photographs, medals, ribbons, canteens, uniforms and more. After their addition, all materials will be fully searchable online at http://visions.indstate.edu. One goal of this project is to increase usage of this material by researchers, since everyone will have access at any time to materials through the Internet.

"We are heightening public awareness, improving public access to materials and promoting preservation of the physical items themselves," May said.

By digitizing this material, WV3 will help to preserve the original, often fragile documents because researchers will be able to easily search and view the material online.

"This represents a significant addition of Civil War related material for the project," May said.

The grant has enabled WV3 to hire three Indiana State University students to work specifically on the Civil War project. Two of the students will create the searchable images and the third student will develop an interactive webpage complete with a timeline, contextual essay and interactive quizzes.

WV3 is dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the history and cultural heritage of West Central Indiana. The digital collections contain artifacts, administrative and personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, yearbooks, maps, texts, oral histories and other audio and video files.

The grant is made possible by funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.

Contact: Cinda May, Wabash Valley Visions and Voices project coordinator, 812-237-2534 or cinda.may@indstate.edu

Writer: Lana Schrock, Indiana State University, media relations assistant, 812-237-3773 or lschrock1@indstate.edu