May 16, 2016

News from the MHS Research Center - May 2016

by Molly Kruckenberg, Research Center Director

A monthly report of cool new (and sometimes old) collections, reference resources, and projects that you might be interested in.

Addition to Online Resource

Two new newspapers (The Roundup Record, 1914-1919, and the Weekly Montanian from Thomson Falls, 1894-1896) have been added to Montana Newspapers.  Check them out!  In the next few months we will add newspapers from Polson and Big Sandy to the site.

Cool Online Resources Available for Use

Check out the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), which harvests information and thumbnail images of multi-media resources across the nation and presents this information on a single platform for you to browse. To date almost 80,000 materials about Montana are available through this database with a little over half of the materials contributed through the Montana Memory Project. It definitely behooves the careful researcher to search the DPLA for topical or regional information.

  • While databases are wonderful tools for discovery, sometimes information needs to be presented in different ways for it to be meaningful. The DPLA presents all the metadata (information about information objects) in the database with an API (Application Programming Interface) which has allowed various app developers to build cool new tools for researchers to use.
  • Test your favorite search term or play with the visualization features of one of the many apps available through the DPLA. We like the Term vs. Term app which allows us to see which search term will have more effective results. Of course the Visual Search Interface is also really cool to use, too, as is the DPLA by County and State… there are many to choose from, have fun!

Summer Intern

Daisy Dyrdahl-Roberts has joined us for the summer.  She is working with our rolled map collection producing a complete inventory and physical arrangement of the collection. She will catalog priority maps, digitize select maps, and learn about conservation and care. Thanks to the MHS Outreach and Interpretation program and Kirby Lambert for shared support of this position. Additional interns will be joining us over the summer – look for information on them as they arrive.

Some Neat Things We’ve Been Working On

Senior Archivist Rich Aarstad just completed teaching a semester-long Montana History class at Montana Tech (see his recent blog post). He reports that it was an incredible learning experience, taking what we do at the Montana Historical Society and translating it into a classroom setting. Congratulations, Rich!

Come Visit Us to Use These Collections and Explore Montana History!