History Happenings 
The History Center's eNewsletter

Early October 2019

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The Corner
Forging through History

Welcome to The History Center's newest employee, Eve Snyder! She joins the staff in a new position, as the Project Coordinator for HistoryForge.

This summer, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, a branch of the National Archives and Records Administration, announced the award of a Public Engagement with Historic Records Grant of $132,946 to The History Center in Tompkins County in support of HistoryForge, a dynamic way to explore local history using census records and historic maps.

This news follows three years of hard work by trustees Bob Kibbee, the project founder/manager and David Furber, the web developer, along with hundreds of volunteers who have worked on the project over those years. Julia Corrice from the South Central Regional Library Council developed a convincing metadata plan for the grant proposal. The History Center has already used the data to back several public programs. After a year of development, HistoryForge will be tested by at least three partners. Two have already committed: the Chemung Valley History Museum and the Oneida County History Center.

Kibbee said, "This grant will allow us to develop HistoryForge intensely over the next two years. The great work of the past three years has given us a platform to launch a more powerful version of HistoryForge with exciting new features and a more user-friendly interface. The grant will also give us the resources to present HistoryForge as an open-source program any community can adopt for its own use. This is a great opportunity to test our model on some larger communities. And it's a great opportunity for collaboration and exchanging ideas for moving forward."

HistoryForge is a web environment that allows users to explore local history in a new way-the focus is on individuals, families, and neighborhoods. Dedicated volunteers are transforming hand-written census records of Ithaca from 1900 to 1930 (45,000 records so far!) into a database that can be used to explore ethnicity, professions, homeownership, and many other elements that defined and represented the lives of ordinary people in the early 20th century. You can use the working prototype of HistoryForge online here.

Try the "Map It" feature that "supercharges" several layers of historical maps for displaying your search results. Or just use the opacity slider to see how Ithaca has changed over the years.

The grant from NHPRC will augment this basic platform with user-generated content, people and buildings linked across time, dynamic use of archival records, and many other features.

HistoryForge was launched three years ago. Bob Baxter and the Dryden Mutual Insurance Company provided seed money for initial development. The Triad Foundation, the Tompkins County Bicentennial Commission, and the trustees of The History Center have provided additional support.

A HistoryForge volunteer since 2018, Eve is excited to help expand its horizons under a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives (NARA).  Eve is currently completing a Ph.D. in United States History from Binghamton University.  Through her graduate studies, she developed an interest in the digital humanities as a tool for increasing public engagement in history. A native of New York City, Eve inherited her passion for history from her father, a historian of American Christmas traditions. Eve has recently relocated to Ithaca and is looking forward to immersing herself in its history and culture.

Join in the fun at this month's two data entry bees (details below) or contact Eve at historyforge@thehistorycenter.net to stay in the loop.
Upcomin g Events

HistoryForge Data Entry Bees
Saturdays, October 5 & 19, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
To mpkins Center for History & Culture, Large Conference Room, 2nd Floor, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Come volunteer at our next transcription bee! We make Ithaca history come alive within new open-source software. Learn more and sign up for meeting reminders here. Bring a laptop if possible.

From Seeds to Wisdom: Exploring Haudenosaunee Cycles
Learning about Haudenosaunee Seed Saving
Sunday, October 6, 1:00 to 2:00 PM
Youth Farm Project/Three Swallows Farm, 23 Nelson Road, Ithaca, NY 14850
This month's program will be held off-site as part of the Youth Farm Project's 2019 Harvest Festival. Join The History Center for a workshop on Haudenosaunee Seed Saving. Learn the importance of saving seeds and how to do so, then take seeds home for your own garden. Find the full list of the festival's events here. 

Downtown Ithaca Haunted History Walking Tours 
   October 18, 19, 25, 26, 30, 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Start at the Tompkins Center for History & Culture, Atrium Lobby, 1st Floor, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 148 14850
Today Ithaca is known for its gorges, education, food, vibrant cultural scene, and its diverse population... but this was not always the case. Downtown Ithaca holds colorful narratives of past people and events. What spirits and memories linger? The tales might be chilling as death, murder, jealousy, insanity, and accidents are recalled. Be attentive and watchful. This Ithaca Heritage Tour is offered by The History Center in Tompkins County and will be led by Tompkins County Heritage Ambassador Sherri La-Torre. Tickets cost $10. Free for children ages 7 and under with an adult caregiver. Buy online here or at the tour's start.

Tompkins Geographic: Natural and Cultural History of Six Mile Creek
   Friday, October 25 & Saturday, October 26
Tompkins Center for History & Culture, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 148 14850
In the spirit of our program in April 2018 on the Fall Creek Watershed, Tompkins Geographic continues with a second event focusing on Six Mile Creek. A lecture on Friday evening will be followed by a field trip on Saturday. Watch out for more information in the late October newsletter.
Work at The History Center

Apply by Monday, October 7.

Now located within the Tompkins Center for History & Culture
110 North Tioga Street,  Ithaca, NY 14850

Ben Sandberg | Executive Director | Director@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 222

Donna Eschenbrenner |   Director of Archives & Research Services |  Archives@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 224

Cindy Kjellander-Cantu  |  Curator and Design & Support Specialist  | Design@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 223

Dave Dier
 |  Bookkeeper and Office Manager  | Admin@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension  225

Lucy Walker |  Community & Visitor Outreach Coordinator | Community@TheHistoryCenter.Net | Phone extension 228

Reach the docents anytime the exhibit hall is open at extension 227.

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