Just wanted to send out a quick thanks to all of the wonderful folks who made my trip last week such a success. After leaving Ohio, I headed to Indianapolis and the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. I had a fantastic conversation with folks at the site, and was able to see a whirlwind tour of the Harrison home, which was especially neat since it was newly decorated for the holidays.
Finally—last stop!—I headed to Springfield, IL, to the land of Lincoln and the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Springfield is impressively dedicated to all-things-Lincoln, and (in an incredibly fitting final act) I flew out of Abraham Lincoln airport on my way back east—though not before stopping by the Lincoln tomb for a quick visit.
I truly wish I had more time to really dig into the sites I visited last week, but I felt very successful in accomplishing the goals set out for the CPC project. We came out of last week with a few new potential partners for the site, and lots of information about challenges shared across the field. All of the sites I visited, in one way or another, had come up with wonderful solutions to digital challenges… and I left with an invigorated faith in the ability of a dedicated staff to overcome almost any hurdle.
I’ve had a great trip to Ohio so far—beautiful snow, impressive sites, and delicious food. I want to send out a special “Thanks!” to Nan Card at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center (www.rbhayes.org) for braving the incoming lake-effect snow (that really was something!) to spend time talking with me about the CPC project and ways to address challenges facing modern libraries. The Hayes Center’s grounds were beautiful in the snow, I wish I had more time to stay!
Yesterday I had a wonderful meeting with folks from the Ohio History Connection (http://www.ohiohistory.org/) and the Harding Home (http://www.hardinghome.org/)… while I wish I had days and days and days to soak in this area’s incredible offerings, meeting Conway the Mastodon was surely a highlight of my trip.
I can’t help going on a small tangent: Ohio History Connection is also currently displaying a full Lustron home (http://www.ohiohistory.org/exhibits/ohio-history-center-exhibits/1950s), a popular modular-type home that was immensely popular post-World War II. The home was complete with furniture, dishes, and even an in-sink machine meant to wash dishes and, at other times, clothes! Pragmatic to the max, I loved seeing it.
In the next few days I’m heading through Indianapolis and Springfield, IL. Think I can take Tim Hortons’ “Timbits” on the plane?
Cold snap be darned, I am very excited this week to be heading to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois to visit some fantastic presidential sites and talk about the CPC project.
The goals for the trip are two-fold: I’ll be meeting with a few sites to talk about the CPC project and what we’re building, but I’ll also be informally interviewing folks about their successes and challenges in the area of digital development. CPC will only succeed as an inclusive and thorough resource if we’re able to enable collection-holders to participate.
We’ve already seen a wide range of digital abilities, and one goal of the current phase is to examine that: What’s the state of digital collections in the world of presidential history? Can we put those needs into shared categories and begin to bridge the gaps? What would it take to make digital collections easier, cheaper, and more attainable?
Follow me on Twitter @pres_collection for updates on my trip—I love this area of the country, I love being on the road. I promise to keep it interesting!
If you’re in the Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, or Springfield area and are interested in having a chat, send me a message or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!