2019 Community Engagement Celebration Day

Project Title

Fortepan Iowa

Type of Presentation

Table

Presentation Type

Event

Project Summary

In 2015, four university faculty UNI (Bettina Fabos, Leisl Carr Childers, Noah Doely, and Sergey Golitsynskiy), launched the “Fortepan Iowa” project. The ambitious public photo archive showcases curated Iowa family snapshots of everyday Iowa, taken between 1860-2000, and situates them along an easily searchable, image-centered timeline. Fortepan Iowa’s overall mission is to crowd-source public memory of rural and small town Iowa life, and foster a robust, shared, collective history of Iowa. UNI’s Fortepan Iowa team works with numerous college students in our Digital Culture classes, who work with volunteers to scan, curate, and collect metadata and stories about Iowa life, and then make these photos and associated data available for public enrichment. The expanding collection of photographs (approximately 15,000 and growing) captures a state identity that is quite magical--most images connect to Iowa customs, rituals, and ceremonies that Iowans recognize. Other photos can be jarring, and complicate our understanding of Iowa and Iowans in a way that is refreshing and invites alternative stories about Iowa identity. Because all Fortepan Iowa photographs are arranged chronologically, not by individual collection like typical archiving interfaces, the juxtaposed images immediately tell a story about practices and happenings at particular moments in Iowa history or across a particular decade. Because the images will soon be equipped with tagging and public forum capabilities, enabling community members to foster a permanent dialogue about each image, the archive encourages multi-generational participation and a publicly shared collective memory of our state. And, because all images are scanned according to FAGDI standards and released to the Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA) for immediate download, Fortepan Iowa enables an even deeper and active level of community participation, especially for K-12 students, artists, seniors, and local historians. The Fortepan Iowa project is, above all, conceived as a public-facing archive for the public, not for archivists (although it has great value for archivists, too). As such, the non-profit archival platform is setting a new standard for how we should be viewing and experiencing our community’s photographs.Our Digital Culture and Communication students learn about the importance of the Creative Commons and public web projects in general--through their participation in Fortepan Iowa.

Start Date

19-4-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

19-4-2019 10:30 AM

Event Host

UNI Office of Undergraduate Studies

Department

Department of Communication Studies

Award Category

Service Learning/Live Client Project Award (Curricular)

Award Category

Research-Based Project Award

Electronic copy is not available through UNI ScholarWorks.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 19th, 9:00 AM Apr 19th, 10:30 AM

Fortepan Iowa

In 2015, four university faculty UNI (Bettina Fabos, Leisl Carr Childers, Noah Doely, and Sergey Golitsynskiy), launched the “Fortepan Iowa” project. The ambitious public photo archive showcases curated Iowa family snapshots of everyday Iowa, taken between 1860-2000, and situates them along an easily searchable, image-centered timeline. Fortepan Iowa’s overall mission is to crowd-source public memory of rural and small town Iowa life, and foster a robust, shared, collective history of Iowa. UNI’s Fortepan Iowa team works with numerous college students in our Digital Culture classes, who work with volunteers to scan, curate, and collect metadata and stories about Iowa life, and then make these photos and associated data available for public enrichment. The expanding collection of photographs (approximately 15,000 and growing) captures a state identity that is quite magical--most images connect to Iowa customs, rituals, and ceremonies that Iowans recognize. Other photos can be jarring, and complicate our understanding of Iowa and Iowans in a way that is refreshing and invites alternative stories about Iowa identity. Because all Fortepan Iowa photographs are arranged chronologically, not by individual collection like typical archiving interfaces, the juxtaposed images immediately tell a story about practices and happenings at particular moments in Iowa history or across a particular decade. Because the images will soon be equipped with tagging and public forum capabilities, enabling community members to foster a permanent dialogue about each image, the archive encourages multi-generational participation and a publicly shared collective memory of our state. And, because all images are scanned according to FAGDI standards and released to the Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA) for immediate download, Fortepan Iowa enables an even deeper and active level of community participation, especially for K-12 students, artists, seniors, and local historians. The Fortepan Iowa project is, above all, conceived as a public-facing archive for the public, not for archivists (although it has great value for archivists, too). As such, the non-profit archival platform is setting a new standard for how we should be viewing and experiencing our community’s photographs.Our Digital Culture and Communication students learn about the importance of the Creative Commons and public web projects in general--through their participation in Fortepan Iowa.