New technology provides museums and historical societies with new ways to reach a wider public. It has been my honor to work on three separate projects that utilize digital storytelling to engage audiences.
Work on Ice Age Flood Explorer was a collaborative effort between the History and Geology departments at Eastern Washington University (EWU). This project provided the opportunity to look at the history of things more than the history of people.
- Sagebrush. “Just as much as tumbleweeds and dusty boots, sagebrush is a symbol of the American West.” continue reading here.
- A Bridge With A Past. “The cantilever Snake River Bridge has had a few different names over the years because of its past.” Read more here.
- Still Standing. “Only a few brick building remain to recall what was once a prosperous commercial district in Starbuck.” Read the rest of the article here.
“Spokane Historical,” the pages “About” section proclaims, “is a project of the Public History program at EWU. Most of the stories were created by EWU students.” Those students include me. I was a first-year graduate student when I first got the chance to research and write articles for the site. In these articles, I focus on the people who lived the past.
- The Resurrection of St. Paul’s Mission. “Once a magnet for Catholics in the area, St. Paul’s was left abandoned in the woods for forty years before its “resurrection” as a historic site.” Read more about this historic landmark here.
- Crooked Agent. “For Indian Agent Albert M. Anderson, kickbacks and embezzlement were all in a day’s work.” Read more about Anderson’s shenanigans here.
- Risky Fun. “While there was “never a shot fired in anger” at Fort Spokane, life on the fort was not without danger.” Click here to read about a danger that claimed the lives of Fort Spokane soldiers.
- A Town No More. “Now submerged beneath Lake Roosevelt, Gifford was a small town founded by a man with a westering spirit.” To read more about Gifford, click here.
- A Hospital For Washington’s Insane. “Eastern Washington Hospital For The Insane promised humane treatment for the mentally ill.” More about the history of mental health treatment in Eastern Washington can be read here.
- Locked Up For Life. “Susan Glover spent her golden years at Eastern Washington State Hospital For the Insane after one terrible day.” Click here to read more about this early Spokane celebrity.
“Island Histories: Stories of the San Juans” is the latest digital storytelling platform from EWU’s public history program. The beautiful San Juans island is located off the coast of Washington. This project involved working closely with the National Park Service.
- Cook House, like so much of my writing, isn’t about the physical structure it’s about the people who occupied the space. Click here to read more about a family who moved into an abandoned British camp.
“Wikipedia Editing” is an annual event co-sponsored by the EWU Library, Archives, and Omega Psi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (PAT). We choose a topic from EWU’s past to create a new Wikipedia page that expands EWU’s digital footprint, sharing the university’s history with the world. As a member of PAT, and in 2018 as President, I witnessed first-hand people drawn to this event because of the interesting topics we’ve chosen. This program received the Student Activities, Involvement & Leadership Best Student Program Award in June 2018. The award is for the program that encourages learning in an engaging way.
- In 2016, we chose a locally famous and slightly controversial couch, William Bryn “Red” Reese.
- The following year we made one page for each of the three fires that have burned parts of the EWU Cheney campus. The first in 1891, the second in 1912, and the third in 1977.
- In 2018, we made two pages, one about Mary Monroe, and one about the Women’s and Gendered Education center.