Candle and Books (EKIS)

Behind the Scenes . . .

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:

       Notes from around EKIS:   Cutler's History
         of the State of Kansas, "Orphan Trains," and
         the Andreas History of the State of Nebraska

       Volunteer Spotlight:   Meet Rosana Whitenight

Notes from around EKIS

Steady progress is being made with Cutler's History of the State of Kansas. Only a dozen county chapters remain, and all are in progress. The very long Era of Peace chapters in the state section of the book has also been completed, thanks to the hard work of Rosana Whitenight....Connie Dipasquale recently sent another story about orphan train riders and related graphics to include in the popular Orphan Trains....Another landmark has been reached in the EKIS Andreas History of the State of Nebraska project: the incredibly long Douglas county chapter has been completed and installed! Connie Snyder rushed to finish this chapter before going see her new grandson. Congratulations, Connie!....Jude Glad worked tirelessly to obtain permission to include Rudolph Fleming's famous poem, "Kansas", in KanColl. This poem captures the essence of Kansas, and we are very grateful to Mr. Fleming's daughter, Mary Zirin, for her permission to preserve this very special work in KanColl. When Jude wasn't working on that (including scanning and editing the poem), she was scanning a number of turn-of-the-century postcards for us and writing a wonderful article on romance for the Fall issue of "Voices"...Susan Chaffin produced the fall edition, and also contributed an absorbing and meticulously researched article on the fight for women's suffrage, and the role Kansas played in that struggle. This is our largest issue to date! She also has kept up with her duties as EKIS associate manager for acquisitions, working with our many contributors to preserve stories, letters, and other materials that otherwise would be lost, so that people all over the world have free and easy access to them. One such contributor is Hal Hunt, living in the United Arab Emirates; Hal is contributing a set of materials about early Kansas history to KanColl and work will soon begin on installing them.

Volunteer Spotlight:   Meet Rosana Whitenight

     It is difficult to understate how much Rosana Whitenight has done for the EKIS project to transcribe Cutler's History of the State of Kansas. The list of Cutler's volunteers is very long, and their achievements are more than impressive -- Ann Major's work on the state chapters, Sandra Harris' plowing through Jefferson county, Bonnie Bunce's single-minded determination in transcribing Shawnee county, and so many others. But surely there is a special place on that roster for Rosana.
     It's not just the sheer volume of work she steadily turns out -- helping with or completing a number of county chapters, and marching through long sections of the state chapters. Nor is it just the superb quality of her work, even dealing with long and difficult tables such as the endless charts of fruit tree statistics. Rosana exemplifies the EKIS volunteer -- cheerfully doing anything that needs to be done, taking on huge sections of work and eagerly looking forward to doing more, appreciating the people she works with and happy to join them in doing her best to help preserve Kansas history for people all over the world. We know you will enjoy getting to know Rosana as much as we have:

     "I grew up on a farm in Marshall County and attended a one room schoolhouse, District 51. The area is called the 'Swede Community.' After graduating from Vermillion Rural High School,I took flight and traveled many places; however, never forgetting my childhood memories and upbringing. I worked 24 years for the Department of the Defense and now enjoy retirement. I have two wonderful children and three grandchildren. This past summer I was extremely blessed to have all of them join me in attending a Family Reunion of our Swedish side.

     "I learned about the EKIS through another program. In November, 1996, I asked to be the Pottawatomie County Coordinator for the Kansas GenWeb Project. I had been reluctant in making my decision and watched Marshall County and Riley County each receive a volunteer coordinator. Since Pottawatomie County holds many fond memories of my Grandparents, I sent my e-mail quickly before I changed my mind or lost another county. Volunteers are advised to join a mailing list. It was through this mailing list I first learned of the Cutler's Project by EKIS. I sent a message off to Bonnie Bunce stating I would be interested in doing 'Pottawatomie County.' It was only a matter of a few weeks and I was in contact with John Matthews. He has always been so helpful, and I still can't wait to see the text I have sent him up on the 'net.' All of what I just said would never happen if it was not for Bob Mills. Bob is the one who sends the "next" pages to me. I have learned so much about Kansas. Bob sends the most interesting pages. Course, I could have lived forever without knowing about the fruit trees of Kansas charts. This project has a lot to do with my new hobby of genealogy and I have really enjoyed being a part of it, because:

     "In May of 1995, I was determined to find out something about my Great Grandfather Gebhardt, and to try once more to find the house my Father was born in. My trip took me to Winkler, Riley County, Kansas. It had been over thirty years since I had been there and of course nothing looked familiar. Grandfather Gebhardt was to have had buildings made of stone. After many trips up and down roads, I drove to my aunt's home. She kept saying it was right where I had been, and she sent me off to ask for detailed directions. It ended up, I only needed to turn at the corner and go north from where the old school house sits. Back on the road, with excitement rushing through my veins, I decided to stop at the St. John's Lutheran Cemetery. It was only moments till I was standing before the Gebhardt's stone. Back in the car and down the road I rushed. I had went up so many of the roads looking for something familiar, but now I was turning up the correct road. There was the stone barn and the stone house. I knocked on the door, introduced myself and asked for permission to walk up closer to the barn and take a picture. As we walked, we talked and upon returning met the lady of the house. They agreed they should have me come in and 'show me, what they had.' What they had was a copy of the Pioneers of the Bluestem Prairie. In a matter of seconds I was in a state of dumb foundness, because this book contained both of my Great Grandfather's bio's. The feeling that came over me cannot be expressed.

     "Over the last few years I have learned my Lilley ancestors arrived in Kansas in early 1860's. My Great Grandmother Lilley was a widow mid 1870's with six children under 18 years of age; one being an infant, my Grandfather. My German ancestors came to America in the 1870's. Prior to this time, I had known my Swedish ancestors had arrived in the 1870's. I continue to volunteer to type Cutler's History of the State of Kansas and be the Pottawatomie County Coordinator for KSGenWeb Project, so someone else can maybe experience the glorious feeling I had the day I first read printed 'words' about my ancestors.

     "I am very honored to be part of this great project and hope I will be involved with a new one when this is completed."

                  Rosana Whitenight
                  10 October 1997

Return to Top of Page

Voices 'Contents'     KanColl     EKIS