January article for A Walk in the Park Magazine
Let’s Get Digital!
The archives of the Terrace Park Historical Society are stacked with all sorts of interesting items. Many of them are objects, such as circus uniforms, a vintage cash register or a 100 year old school bell. But most of what is stored in those stacks is paper. Maps, photos, books, letters, albums, newspaper articles…..and much of that material is rapidly aging.
The good news is that we have some solutions now. With our new large-bed scanner, we can create digital copies of these items to make them available to a wider audience. The bad news is that scanning takes a lot of time! Just our collection of Village Views newspapers comprises 11 issues for every year from 1969 to 2003 (when PDF versions became available) – nearly 400 issues. And each paper contains at least four pages.
In addition to scanning, all this information needs to be organized as well. Our stacks of Village Views are like a library full of books that are all mixed up and scattered. What is needed is an index of the articles to be added to our database so that they can be searchable. That way, if someone would like to learn about the bike path or the white squirrels, they would be able to locate all of the many stories that have been written on these subjects over the years.
Before you throw up your hands and say, “That’s too much work!”, consider that the Village Views records a fascinating and accurate picture of the village throughout the years. Like Samuel Pepys diary, this record of daily events becomes more valuable with every year.
Many “exiled” Terrace Park residents, who have wonderful memories of growing up or raising their families in our village, have expressed an interest in the stories and memorabilia that we collect and would appreciate a chance to reconnect with the past. Current residents are often surprised at the colorful background of their community and the stories and photos that document their own homes.
Genealogists will find a wealth of material, including several dozen notebooks filled with family histories, letters and photos from the earliest days of settlement
So this is where you, Current Terrace Park Residents, come in. Can you help us save our yellowing paper from the past? The high tech skills you need are: Typing, reading, and pushing buttons on the scanner. And most important of all, Not Getting Distracted! Some of our material is so compelling that our volunteers zone out on us, too busy reading the stories to get the job done.
We plan to add some of these images to our website, but many more will be saved in our PastPerfect museum database, (Which is the same one that the Cincinnati Museum Center uses!) If you are comfortable with computers, you might want to jump in and learn to use this, too.
If you would like to help us bring the Terrace Park Historical Society into the 21st Century, please let us know. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 418-1480. If you visit our website, you can see the items we have already made available: tphistoricalsociety.org.