Welcome everyone to 2014! 2013 was an exciting year for our digital collections here in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections. I was brought on board to help expand the digital services of Special Collections in February and it has been a thrill to look back on the work I have been privileged to be a part of in the year since.
Over the course of the year, we added two new major digital collections. First was the Myaamia Collection Online, developed to support the mission of the Myaamia Center here in Oxford by making historical manuscripts and other documents available publicly for personal and scholarly research. The collection began with the 1880 annuity rolls donated by Margaret Sue Strass to the Myaamia Heritage Musuem and Archive, which are currently housed here in Special Collections. We launched in June and, though the initial collection was small, it gained some traction in the press.
Since the initial launch, we have added another set of items to the Myaamia Collection Online, consisting of the original land grants in Indiana by U.S. Presidents Monroe and Tyler to the Miami Tribe, as well as a map of Lafontaine’s addition to Huntington, Indiana.
Another collection launched in 2013 that is no less exciting is our Bowden Postcard Collection Online. This digital collection draws from our massive collection of nearly half a million postcards which were generously donated by friends and Miami alumni Clyde Bowden and Charles Shields. While the task is seemingly endless, we are working hard to make more and more of the collection available online with new additions several times a week. The collection’s website offers an RSS feed to track these new additions and you can also follow the newest items via the collection’s Twitter feed @bowdenpostcards. Currenly, we have roughly 1,300 postcards available online to view, but we hope to reach 4,800 by the end of 2014. It may seem crazy, but that’s only 1% of our total collection!Hopefully some of you were able to stop by and see our exhibit last fall, The Cradle of Coaches: A Legacy of Excellence, but for those who missed it – or for those who want to see more – the exhibit featured an online supplemental component which now continues as a record of the exhibit. On this website you can view articles about the famous coaches to have passed through Miami, listen to speeches given by the coaches, and even watch a highlight reel of John Pont’s time here as a player!
We have exciting plans for the coming year as we continue to develop our current digital collections and launch new ones, so be sure to stay tuned. Happy New Year!
Special Collections Librarian