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, the Andreas
         History of the State of Nebraska, Susan Chaffin,
         and EKIS projects in progress

       Volunteer Spotlight:   Meet John Maier

Notes from around EKIS

The EKIS volunteers working on Cutler's History of the State of Kansas must have suddenly started taking their vitamins -- there's been an explosion of transcribed pages! John Matthews has had his hands full getting it all coded and installed in KanColl. Now only seven county chapters and part of two sections of the general state history remain to be done -- all are in some state of progress. Among the chapters finished most recently, Jann Frank completed the lengthy Lyon county, a big landmark for Cutler's History, and Rosana Whitenight and Kathleen Roper were busy on the state sections, Rosana completing the Era of Peace and Legislative Annals sections, and Kathleen transcribing the Military Record chapter. Rosana, Kathleen, Barbara Dewing and Pat Lowe all pitched in to do their bit on the extensive Territorial History chapter. Currently working: John McDermid (Early Explorations and Expeditions); Sylvia Land, Roger Pyle, and Viola Rae Kassing (Territorial History); William B. Kelley (Brown); Barbara Rentenbach (Douglas); Carolyn Atkinson (Jackson); Carolyn Ward and the Baxter Middle School students (Labette); Becky Farvour and Viola Rae Kassing (Nemaha); Paula Talbert (Sedgwick); and Bonnie Bunce (Shawnee, the longest county chapter).....Sarpy county has been added to the EKIS project, Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska, thanks to Lee Marlin, who transcribed the chapter, and Connie Snyder, who coded and installed it. Work continues on other county chapters and the extensive state history sections....Susan Chaffin, EKIS associate manager for acquisitions and Voices staff writer, has been teaching an Internet writing class at Virtual University, and the University has asked her to return to teach the class again. Her fall class had 300 students!.....Bob Mills has generously contributed copies of old Kansas maps to KanColl, and EKIS volunteer Kay Tyrrell is scanning them....A number of projects are in progress at EKIS, including In Sunflower Land by Roswell Martin Field (Jeanne Bloom is transcribing), W. S. Burke's history of Kansas regiments (Dwayne Crandall scanned, Matt Balocca transcribing), and a history of the Knights of Columbus (Tom Dolezal scanning, transcribing and web designing).

Volunteer Spotlight:   Meet John Maier

     When John Maier volunteered to help us transcribe materials about Kansas history, little did we know how lucky we were! John is a tireless, quick, and careful worker, has a wry sense of humor that sneaks up on you, and is always cheerful and eager to help in any way he can. His favorite saying, whenever he gets a new project, is "Let the good times roll!" John makes work fun, and already has completed half of McCoy's Cattle Trade of the West and Southwest and all of Ropes' Six Months in Kansas. He's currently working with John Matthews on transcribing articles by James Malin. We are delighted to introduce you to one of the nicest people we know, EKIS volunteer John Maier:

     "I was born on a farm in the northwest area of Graham county, Kansas (in the middle of a dust storm, I'm told -- I really don't remember), about six miles south of Lenora. My first seven years of schooling took place in a one room-school house called North Star, and then we moved to Hill City, with a population of around 1500 at the time.

     "I spent two years in the army during the Korean conflict, and with the GI bill in hand, I went to Kansas State University and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Just before graduating, I married my beautiful wife Betty. We have no children, but with about two dozen nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews, there's no worry about the name continuing or the population growing!

     "After college, I went to work for a utility in Wichita, then NASA in Huntsville, working on the Saturn V rocket and other interesting projects, and on to Kansas City, Mo., working for an engineering consulting firm as a control design engineer. In my first job in KC, I assisted in the control design of an 800 megawatt computer controlled power plant. Here's the fun part! The computer had 14k of core memory (not solid state) and a revolving drum with 500k of memory. How does that compare to your desk top? That job lasted 25 years before retiring to where I now live in Manhattan, KS.

     "Now I spend time on my favorite interests: woodworking (my theme song is Woody Herman's Wood Choppers Ball [smiley face icon] ), photography (well anyway picture taking), lawn and flower care, reading, more reading (I'll read just about anything), building bird houses, and fooling around with my computer. And of course going to all the home games of K-State football, men and women's basketball, and baseball games when the weather is warm enough (I wish they would play in the summer instead of February and March). [When we asked John how the Kansas State Wildcats football team would do in the Fiesta Bowl this year, he answered immediately, "You heard it here first: The Wildcats beat the Orangemen 35-24!"]

     "My wife and I are also volunteer installers of medi-mate alert systems in the homes of the handicapped, for the local hospital, and I've been working as a counselor with the K-State Odyssey of the Mind group.

     "I guess I've always been interested in history, Kansas history is just a part of it. I think what really increased my interest in Kansas history was reading the old newspapers at Kansas Historical Center when doing genealogy reseach. But I don't think I will ever have the knowledge of Kansas history as those people that answer and ask the trivia questions.

     "It was my interest in genealogy that got me involved with EKIS. I subscribed to the Kansas-L and KS-Kin lists, and it was there that I saw a message from one 'Susan Stafford' asking for volunteers to edit some scanned works. And the rest, to cite an old cliché, is history!"

                  John Maier
                  28 December 1997

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