Thursday, June 21, 2012

Making Waterford Our Home: Online”
Time to Start Exploring!

Explore. Learn. Share. That’s what we hope you’ll do with our new website, “Making Waterford Our Home: Online.” Launched at last March’s Science and Technology lecture series, this website is the culmination of years of research, community engagement, and public presentations. The Making Waterford Our Home exhibit series investigated the histories of the Italian (2009), French-Canadian (2010), and the Irish communities in Waterford through year-long public exhibits at WHMCC. But physical exhibitions are temporary. In fact, WHMCC prides itself on presenting new, original exhibits each season and that means replacing former exhibits with new ones. The question becomes, how can we keep our audience engaged with this project about Waterford’s immigrant history and how can we provide access to the materials we collected over these several years? The answer is digital.

“Making Waterford Our Home: Online” takes the elements and information from those three distinct exhibits out of the WHMCC building and into a digital space. This website will allow us to share the information we collected with people who were not able to come to the original installations and also allow people to “visit” the exhibits again. We are particularly excited that we will be able to use this format to incorporate so many materials we were unable to include in the original exhibits. New images, oral history clips, research materials and resources will continue to enrich this community history project. But this website will also take our exhibits to another level since we will be able to use it to compare the experiences of one group with those of the others within one space. We also hope that this will prove to be a forum for discussion and that we will continue to collect Waterford’s history via this website.

This project is far from over and that’s pretty exciting. It’s exciting that there’s enthusiasm for this type of project. It’s exciting that granting agencies have seen the value in this project and awarded us money to keep improving it as a community resource. It’s exciting that there is still a way to share YOUR family’s Waterford history with us. Because even though the Italian, Franco-Americans, and Irish kicked this project off, we hope to expand it to include other ethnicities in the future.

Intrigued? Start exploring, start learning, and start sharing today!

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