In the Early Kansas Imprint Scanners (EKIS) workshop, volunteers use scanners to make electronic copies of materials such as books and photographs, proof any text, and then add web designs to include these works in the Kansas Collection. Here's a look at what the volunteers are up to, behind the scenes:
Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Judith B. Glad
Baxter Middle School students help transcribe Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
In 1883, William Cutler published his comprehensive History of the State of Kansas, an immense book which devotes a separate chapter to each of the state's 105 counties. EKIS associate managers Bonnie Bunce and John Matthews have been directing a whole army of volunteers, who are working hard on transcribing over 1600 pages of tiny text into web pages that can be viewed anywhere in the world. You might be surprised to learn that some of these volunteers are middle school students!
Carolyn Ward, an EKIS volunteer working on Cutler's History, teaches at Baxter Middle School in Baxter Springs, Kansas, and is using the Cutler's work to help students learn computer skills as well as Kansas history.
Carolyn's students are working on Wilson and Montgomery Counties, and Norma Blankenship, high school library media specialist, is directing a group of students who have been working on Labette and Crawford Counties.
In September, the school held its annual Senior Citizens Day -- seniors are invited to the school to see what the school is doing (and how their tax dollars are being used!). This year, the Cutler's work (also called Andreas' History of the State of Kansas) was featured as one of the school's projects. Carolyn reports, "The adults were really excited and proud. Remarks heard included 'this was really an honor for our young people, the town, and USD 508 [Baxter Middle School]...who would have thought that technology would get students interested in history instead of considering it such a dull subject...this will give them pride in their own community...by doing the Cutler's, hopefully they will take over to preserve the local history'......Many favorable comments were made that our students will be prepared and ready for the work place or college through activities such as this."
As a result of their work with Cutler's History, the students are planning to do oral history interviews with Baxter residents, to preserve the residents' stories and knowledge of local history. Also, a videotape about the students' work on Cutler's is being planned, and a local television station is being contacted about broadcasting the video.
This book is an essential resource for research into Kansas history, as well as just plain interesting reading! Many thanks to the project managers and all the EKIS Cutler's volunteers for their determined and dedicated work on this massive project.
Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Judith B. Glad
A few months ago, Jude Glad got a new scanner. She heard about our need for people to scan materials for EKIS, and thought it would be good way to learn how to use that scanner.
In the short time since then, Jude has scanned in all of the 26 illustrations for the Kansas Collection's edition of The Prairie Traveler by Captain Randolph B. Marcy, has almost completed scanning and editing lengthy extracts from the extensively illustrated Marvels of the New West by William Thayer, is scanning and donating electronic copies of Kansas postcards from the turn of the century, and along the way is always available for odd scanning jobs for EKIS that come her way. There are plenty of those, because Jude has become a wizard at scanning! She can truly work magic with even the poorest quality sources.
EKIS has been gifted with an entire group of dedicated, talented and energetic volunteers. As we introduce you to these volunteers in the issues of Voices, we're pleased to begin with Jude Glad, who writes:
"I'm one of those Jills-of-all-trades you hear about. I've been an accountant, a Coca-Cola bottler, a waitress, a fry cook, a Girl Scout/Camp Fire Girl/4-H leader, a county Civil Defense Chairman, a Tupperware saleslady, a college student, a botanist, an environmental consultant, a technical writer, and an aspiring romance writer. I'm 60, have 4 grown children and a couple of grandaughters. Right now I'm a member of the California Botanical Society, Romance writers of America, Northwest Scientific Association, and the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which advises Oregon Department of transportation on matters concerning cycling and walking.
"My husband and I try to do a month's worth of volunteer Park Hosting for Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department each year and often work in their booths at RV and other shows. I Volkswalk fairly often, ride my bicycle for transportation sometimes, and actually completed a metric century (a 100+ km ride, which translates to 72 miles) in 1995. In 1994 we pulled our travel trailer along the Lewis and Clark Trail to Kansas City, then turned around and followed the Oregon Trail back home. In the process we walked about 80 miles of the Oregon Trail and volkswalked in ten states.
"My passions are mostly ephemeral, although books have always been of major importance, and so has Neil, for the last 40 years or so. Packratism (i.e., the tendency to keep everything, just in case one might use it someday) is hereditary in my family. When we moved to a smaller house last year, I got rid of huge bunches of stuff associated with half a dozen hobbies I've lost interest in. Among the things I kept were the photo collection and the postcards. Back to them in a minute.
"I've worked as a botanist/consultant the past 20 years. I do a lot of rare plant searches, wildlife habitat mapping, botanical inventories, a fair amount of technical writing ,and an occasional stint as an expert witness. Since 1984, I've been self-employed, working out of my house. I don't work full-time--by choice--and that leaves me time to write romances and work on genealogy.
"Actually, the genealogy is a new passion. When my grandmother died in 1953, I kept her postcard collection. It was just a bunch of old postcards in a box, but I thought my kids might like them when I got around to putting them in scrapbooks. Well, I dragged the postcards around for 40 years, until one really dark and rainy winter, I was bored and decided to go through them and the photographs in the other six boxes.
"About this same time, my daughters decided to search for their roots. Some branches of our families are LDS ('Latter Day Saints,' which has a strong tradition of documenting family lines), so all their ancestors were present and accounted for. My mother's family, however, was a total mystery. I was raised by a great-aunt, born in 1870, and had been entertained with stories of her life as a child in Oklahoma and Kansas. Fortunately (for the child) and unfortunately (for the genealogy researcher), she had a great imagination. I knew a lot about growing up in the Great Plains, but not her father's name. And to complicate matters, my grandmother had fallen out with her in-laws when my grandfather died in 1918 and had destroyed all traces of his family. All we knew was that they were from around Xenia, OH.
"And this brings us back to the postcards. When I started reading the messages, I found many from people I'd never heard of--people who called my great aunt and my grandmother 'sister.' And there were a whole bunch from my grandfather to my grandmother when he was courting her. Best of all, there were a few from his parents to my mother, dated up into the mid-twenties. And buried deep in that box was a photograph of my grandfather and grandmother on their wedding day--the only one we have of him. There were many other old photographs, all unlabeled, with the postcards and in the six boxes of unsorted photos.
"So I joined my daughters, Kat and Star, in their research. We've managed to trace my mother's maternal and paternal lines back to the early nineteenth century and are still trying to go farther--and in the process identified many of those mysterious names on the postcards. It's been interesting to follow their travels, for both sides moved west out of Pennsylvania and Virginia/West Virginia. The Wrights (my mother's father's line) stopped in Ohio, but the Holmes (her mother's line) bunch must have had really itchy feet. We know they were in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Kansas again, Oklahoma, and finally Idaho. Which was where I came to Oregon from.
"Well, naturally genealogy research led to the Internet, and that led us to ROOTS-L, KANSAS-L, and a bunch of other Internet mailing lists. My electronic mailbox fills up quite regularly. The success I've had has been great! I've managed to find a Holmes cousin, as well as various other connections on both my mother's and my father's sides. I've even managed to put labels on several of the old photos, although the Internet hasn't been much help there.
"Then this summer I got a scanner. As with most computer peripherals, it came with complicated instructions and difficulties with installation. By the time I had the thing actually scanning, I didn't want to read any @#$%&* instructions. So when I saw Susan's plea for people to scan stuff for EKIS on KANSAS-L, I volunteered, knowing full well that the best way to learn something is by practicing it.
"Well, I have learned! And still am. I've learned a lot more than how to scan, too. The careful proofreading required to get Marvels Of The New West ready for EKIS is better than studying for a final exam. Even if much of it is hyperbole, I've learned so much about 'the real west' that it makes all those cowboy movies I'm addicted to seem pretty silly. Since my primary interest in romance writing is Western historicals, it's also great research. I can hardly wait to finish Marvels and start on the next project, whatever it is."
(Don't worry, Jude! We'll keep you busy!) --Editor.