Every year the Fraternity Communications Association (FCA) presents awards to fraternities and sororities for excellence in communication ranging from best alumni/alumnae engagement to social media engagement, annual report and so on. We are pleased to share that this year, Alpha Phi sorority received an award for their digital museum — the result of their partnership with HistoryIT.
One of the joys of studying history is stumbling across surprising stories. The tangents we go off on and the rabbit holes we fall down are what feed our curious minds. As the person who manages our social media, I’m delighted to be able to dive into these new discoveries on a regular basis.
Composites are a defining feature of Greek life. Each year young men and women have their photos taken to be collectively displayed in chapter houses, to have prints made for their parents or to save as a personal keepsake. For members of fraternal communities, composites are an annual tradition, a fond memory and a spark for nostalgia among alumni. For HistoryIT, they’re incredibly helpful research tools that visually communicate the history of these organizations through a unique lens.
Spring is in the air, which means that people and organizations across the country are beginning to do some deep cleaning. The phrase “out with the old, in with the new,” however, doesn’t exactly sit well with people like us who are focused on preserving history.
This blog post is part of a series exploring the surprising places that we discover history. We often think of museums, historical societies, and libraries as the sole repositories of our past. Yet, hidden histories are everywhere! Stories are often buried away in the least likely of places and we at HistoryIT love unearthing and saving them. In today’s post, we look at a beautiful story about some lost – and then rediscovered – photos.
Powerful digital archives reach and influence new audiences and are the key to needed funding
The way we access information has fundamentally changed and this change demands a re-calibration on the part of those who house primary source historical materials. In the past ten years, Google has reshaped the public’s expectations around being able to find information and form conclusions based upon what they discover through simple online searches. The difficulty is, of course, that most of our primary source historical materials are not yet accessible online and those that are digitized often lack the robust, item-level tagging that would make them meaningfully searchable in this environment. This problem is exacerbated by a fixed mindset that would suggest that primary source materials in physical or digital form are still mainly for the scholarly researcher. Researchers have been the core focus of dedicated archivists and the institutions in which they work for lifetimes. But questioning who other than the researcher might be interested in accessing these materials opens a world of new possibilities.