Digital Minot: preserving Minot for eternity
As Minot and the surrounding community continue to grow, need for space is often prioritized over preservation. This means that historic structures are demolished, lots are repurposed and records disappear.
To preserve these memories, and allow history students to practice their future profession within a local setting, Bethany Andreasen, associate professor of history at Minot State University, established a web-based museum and archive. She will present "Digital Minot: An On-line Museum of Local History," on April 24 at 7 p.m. in Aleshire Theater, along with project coordinator Amy Lisner. Student researchers Stephen Davison, Kevin Matze, Alison Peterson and Kala Yarbrough will also speak about their individual research projects.
The Digital Minot team collaborated with local agencies and took Minot's history out of storage rooms and boxes, uploading materials and records spanning more than a century in order to display the Magic City's vibrant past on the Web. The general public will have access to historical photos, postcards, newspaper articles, advertisements, scholarly journals, legal documents, oral histories, biographies and more.
"It's been very gratifying to watch the students delve into their projects. By researching, uncovering, and analyzing information about a historical topic that no one has previously examined in such depth, they are taking the professional skills of the historian, which they've been learning over the course of their education, and putting them fully into practice," Andreasen said.
Student researchers conducted formal interviews and examined historical documents and images, which took them to sources including the Old Soo Depot Transportation Museum, the Minot Daily News, the Minot Park District, Sawyer City Hall, the Ward County Recorder's Office, Gordon B. Olson Library and Minot Public Library. Students then constructed presentations based on their research. After April 24, the resulting exhibits will be posted for public viewing on the project's webpage.
"Many agencies, organizations and individuals willingly opened their doors and shared historical materials, knowledge and memories of this region. What makes this history project significant are the possibilities of full community, student, and university engagement," Lisner said.
"Having access to Minot's history on the Internet will be a great way for locals to bond and visitors to experience this area's rich history. Anyone will be able to contribute thoughts, ideas and materials. Digital Minot will go beyond the parameters of the Magic City's limits and into homes across the globe."
"Digital Minot: An On-Line Museum of Local History" is part of the Northwest Art Center lecture series and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served afterwards. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or view the event poster[pdf].