Creating a Virtual Resource Collection on New York State's Environmental History
Funded by: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Division of Preservation and Access
Lead Institution: New York State Archives
Partner Institutions: Adirondack Museum, Cornell University, New York State Library, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Warren and Ulster County governments
Project Time: October 2002 - September 2005
NEH Funds: $260,628 (Participant cost share:$309,784)
The project focused on a pivotal facet of America's environmental history: the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Partner holdings were integrated into a virtual collection that
- Takes a thematic approach thematic rather than an institutional approach
- Unifies geographically distributed collections
- Provides balance to different perspectives on enviromental history
- Employs an integrated approach to web-accessible access tools, ranging from a traditional Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) to a union database of EAD-encoded finding aids, and digitized reproductions of archival material.
- Developed and/or revise descriptive tools for a 162 collections relating to the Adirondack and Catskill Parks from seven partner institutions.
- Created encoded finding aids and provided links between US MARC records, finding aids and digitized images.
- Provided Web access to over 3200 historical maps, photographs, documents, and graphic materials of high interest drawn from partners' collections.
- Developed a common method for creating electronic finding aids and mounting them on the Web
- Developed shared guidelines and best practices for finding aid content, EAD markup, and item digitization that will help other New York State repositories
- Developed the necessary infrastructure for housing the finding aids and making them available
- Laid the foundation for the future growth of this and other topical sites on New York State history
- Built a rich research resource for historians, geographers, educators and other humanities scholars