The RICHES™ project at UCF recently conducted a History Harvest event with the St. Cloud Historical Society. Led by Dr. Connie Lester, RICHES™ works to research, document, and make digitally available information on Florida’s regional history and to develop digital research tools. St. Cloud citizens contributed images, objects and documents in an effort to digitally preserve their community’s history as part of the harvest.
A few weeks before the event, Lester, undergraduate intern Isaiah Morales and department Program Assistant Geoffrey Cravero met with the St. Cloud Historical Society and St. Cloud Women’s Club to discuss the event, the kinds of items desired, and the process for their preservation. The historical society members went through a mock a version of the event and practiced the digitization process. Cravero believes this training and preparation helped to make the event the most successful one he has seen yet.
Cravero notes that in the nineteenth century, the Union Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) had a large presence in the St. Cloud area, and that several of the objects digitized at the event relate the GAR is some way. “There was a locally published book on the St. Cloud GAR memorial hall,” Cravero notes, “a religious book from the First Baptist Church of St. Cloud published in 1861, political campaign buttons from 1910, several photos, newspaper and magazine clippings.”
Asked what he found to be the most interesting object or set of object digitized at the event, Cravero discussed two large collections of postcards brought in by different individuals. “Each is a consummate collection, they’re very impressive.” He noted the collections featured over one hundred postcards originating from throughout the twentieth century. Kirk Lundblade, a PhD Texts & Technology intern assisted with digitizing the postcard collections at the harvest.
For more information about RICHES™ and History Harvests, visit https://riches.cah.ucf.edu/