Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Thomas Ford Memorial Library and Western Springs Historical Society officially launched a joint local history website Saturday with a party at the library. House historian Jean Follett started our program with a slide show explaining how to identify historical housing styles. Aaron Schmidt then demonstrated our new website, which has a collection of photos of Western Springs houses built before 1900. Pete Caras of the Western Springs Historical Society then said a word for the Historical Society and thanked the Library for partnering with his organization.

We feel very proud of what we have accomplished. Nancy Long has put many hours into scanning photos and adding metadata to our database. Aaron put up the website. I have made the arrangements with the Historical Society and written the reports. There are still more reports to write, as we got our funding from an LSTA Grant, awarded by the Illinois State Library, but we now feel we have left stage one of a longtime project.

What comes next may be just as challenging. The Library and the Historical Society have to form a committee and lay out plans for the expansion of the website. There is no shortage of ideas, but we have to decide what deserves our limited volunteer time. Wish us luck.

In the meantime, take a look at our new website and feel free to make comments. We are open to new ideas.

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