Corban partners with Marion County Historical Society
September 23, 2009
The Marion Cultural Development Corporation has awarded $2,000 to the Marion County Historical Society (MCHS). These dollars will not only help MCHS to update its website but will also fund the initiation of an online virtual library at the site. John Scott, Corban’s Assistant Professor of History, conceived and wrote the accepted grant proposal, and Corban’s History Department has been invited to contribute articles for the start-up of the online virtual library.
Scott, director of the project, said this first set of articles will focus on families that settled in Marion County during the early Donation Land Claim era. He has enlisted several Corban students and recent alumni to write the articles. In addition to Scott’s and the budding historians’ involvement, Matt Strauser, Corban’s Director of Choral Activities, has been selected as the project’s web designer.
Amy Vandegrift, Director of MCHS, said, “I like the collaboration with Corban College; it’s important to work with our surrounding universities.”
Vandegrift saw the project as an opportunity to get biographies out and to better assist people doing research. Moreover, she is excited about how the grant will enable MCHS to have their resources and photos “indexed and archived, and all of this in an easily accessible format.”
“This makes the collection not only more available to the public,” she continued, “but students will learn how that material is housed and how to access it.”
Scott was delighted with the partnership for several reasons. He believes the pioneer biographies will help draw attention to the local historical society, which may encourage people to become members and support it. He also wants to spark interest in local history.
Senior Levi Jackson, who is writing for the project, said, “Through working on this, I realized how little our community, myself included, knows about the people who settled the area and what they did in their lifetimes.”
Student writer Sara Pittock agreed, “Before researching my article, I knew next to nothing about the person I would eventually write a biography on.”
Jackson anticipates that through work on this library, the people of Marion County will be able to more easily learn about the pioneers who came before us. Scott, too, expressed his desire for the public to know about this area’s rich heritage. He said, “Marion County is a goldmine of interesting people.”
Creative writing major Pittock and history major Jackson are also grateful for this experience as it is a means to build their resumes. Scott is thrilled that his students’ authorship could help open doors for their future.
For all these reasons, the project is—as Vandegrift put it—“an extension of community.”
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
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