Press Release : Unearthing St. Augustine Grant Award Announcement

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Material Information

Title:
Press Release : Unearthing St. Augustine Grant Award Announcement
Physical Description:
Grant Proposal
Creator:
Caswell, Thomas Reed
Publisher:
George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
Publication Date:

Notes

Abstract:
Abstract from the award proposal: In preparation for St. Augustine¡¦s 450th anniversary of its founding in 2015, the University of Florida (UF) Libraries requests $321,653 (with $196,821 in contributed cost share) to build an online collection of key resources related to research on colonial St. Augustine, Florida. Along with the UF Libraries, Unearthing St. Augustine partners are the two City of St. Augustine departments (Heritage Tourism and Archaeology Program), historic Government House in St. Augustine managed by UF, and St. Augustine Historical Society. This two-year project will produce two major outcomes: 1) UF and its partners will establish for the first time a computer digitization lab at Government House which will be used create and disseminate an interactive digital collection consisting of 11,000 maps, drawings, photographs and documents and associated metadata that will be available freely online; 2) project staff will spatially enhance digitized paper maps and images through a process called geo-referencing and create original programming to produce a user-friendly, Google map-based interface, and release it as open source technology. These products will allow for downloading and manipulating primary source material thus creating a means for increasing interactivity and enhancing broader public access. Along with searching and browsing functions (including full text searching) the project will develop a map-based interface built upon geographic metadata. Users will be able to search for textual information, structural elements and geographic locations on maps and images. Users also will be able to view the creation, alteration or destruction of structures and sites within specific timeframes. For the first time, this project brings the study of St. Augustine's past into the modern research environment. An Advisory Board comprised of noted archaeologists, historic preservationists, and historians with expertise in the colonial history of St. Augustine and Florida will provide expert guidance on building the digital collection and designing the user interface. Unearthing St. Augustine collection objects will cover a broad range of subjects including Florida and U.S. history, Spanish colonies, Native Americans, slavery, exploration, architecture and urban planning, social and economic development, missionary work, military defenses and warfare. The collection will satisfy the needs of a wide variety of researchers including historians, archaeologists, architects, and historic preservationists. The 11,000 digital objects, which date from the 16th century to the present, are in the public domain or partner repositories and have reproduction rights. Selected materials will include: Government House - 1,200 maps and overlays of the city, architectural drawings of historic structures, and related government documents. St. Augustine Historical Society - 2,500 Spanish documents, transcriptions and English language translations. City of St. Augustine Archaeology Program records, photographs and site summaries for 100 excavations conducted over the past 20 years. Herschel Shepard Collection at UF - 800 drawings, photos and documents related to Shepard¡¦s restoration and reconstruction of the city¡¦s colonial buildings. Unearthing St. Augustine will be promoted broadly to local, national and international scholars, teachers and the general public. To increase discovery and access, UF will contribute objects and metadata to digital repositories and other online collections including: Trove, NINES, 18thConnect, WorldCat, OAIster, and other aggregators.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.
System ID:
AA00004298:00002


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News Release Contact: Tom Caswell A ssociate University Librarian, University of Florida, Curator of St. Augustine Government House Research Collections (352) 273 2805 tcaswell@ufl.edu University of Florida Libraries r eceive $265,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant a ward Online resource will provide first time access to hidden St. Augustine treasures Gaine s ville, FL May 1, 2012 In preparation for the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine in 2015, the University of Florida (UF) George A. Smathers Libraries has been awarded $265,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NE H). This is the large st award in Florida (one of only four ) and one of 34 nationally this year. The Unearthing St. Augustine grant, led by project director Thomas Caswell and co director James Cusick, will establish a specialized computer digitization lab at the Government House in St. Augustine, Florida to build an online collection of hidden and fragile resources related to colonial St. Augustine. This two year project will create an interactive digital collection consisting of 10,000 maps, drawings, photographs and documents available freely online. P artnering with the Smathers Libraries to r ealize this project are the City of St. Augustine departments of Heritage Tourism and Archaeology Program the St. Augustine Historical Society, the UF College of Des ign, Construct ion and Planning and the Government House which is managed by UF The Unearthing St. Augustine materials are scattered am ong four different repositories which have been previously inaccessible to researchers worldwide and will soon be available in a freely searchable online database. from the 16th century to the present, include archival materials from the following: Government House maps and overlays of the city, architectural drawings of historic structures and related government documents St. Augustine Historical Society Spanish documents, transcriptions and English language translations City of St. Augustine Archaeology Program records, photographs and site summaries for 100 excavations conducted over the past 20 years Herschel Shepard Collection at UF The collection will support research in a broad range of subjects: Florida and U.S. history, Spanish colonies, Native Americans, slavery, e xploration, architecture and urban planning, social and economic development, missionary work, military defenses and warfare. When completed, Unearthing St. Augustine will not only satisfy the needs of a wide variety of researchers including historians, ar chaeologists, architects and historic preservationists, but the In support of the grant, Kathleen Deagan, distinguished research curator at the Florida Museum of Natural H

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This is also a very timely project, in that the 450th anniversary of St. August occur in 2015, providing an opportunity to focus both public and scholarly attention on the role of inte rnational significance of St. Augustine, as well as its importance in our national history. I can attest to the unique nature of the city's historical documents, maps, and artifacts and firmly believe they constitute a national treasure that should be made more accessible to a wider public. These records and archaeological reports document much about the material culture, economy and social and political organization of St. Augustine and its indigenous and African The George A. Smathers Libr aries at UF is both the largest public and academic library in the throughout the state. The libraries house more than five million books and the UF Digital Collecti ons ( http://ufdc.ufl.edu ) contain over seven million pages of historical documents, archival letters, maps, photographs, museum objects, books, newspapers and more. The functionalities and features of the UF Digital Collections are supported using the UF developed SobekCM software SobekCM is released as open source software under the GNU GPL license and can be downloaded from the SobekCM Software Download Site: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/software To learn more about the technologies, please v isit the SobekCM page: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/sobekcm Government House is one of 38 separate historic buildings and 23 state owned historic parcels located in the City of St. Augustine and managed by the Univers ity of Florida in support of prog rams in preservation, education and interpretation. ### The National Endowment for the Humanities: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources



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News Release Contact: Tom Caswell Associate University Librarian, University of Florida, Curator of St. Augustine Government House Research Collections (352) 273-2805 tcaswell@ufl.edu University of Florid a Libraries receive $265,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant award Online resource will provide first time access to hidden St. Augustine treasures Gainesville, FL, May 1, 2012 – In preparation for the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine in 2015, the University of Florida (UF) George A. Smathers Libraries has been awarded $265,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This is the largest award in Florida (one of only four) and one of 34 nationally this year. The Unearthing St. Augustine grant, led by project director Thomas Caswell and co-director James Cusick, will establish a specialized computer digitization lab at the Government House in St. Augustine, Florida to build an online collection of hidden and fragile resources related to colonial St. Augustine. This two-year project will create an interactive digital collection consisting of 10,000 maps, drawings, photographs and documents available freely online. Partnering with the Smathers Libraries to realize this project are the City of St. Augustine departments of Heritage Tourism and Archaeology Program, the St. August ine Historical Society, the UF College of Design, Construction and Planning and the Government House, which is managed by UF. The Unearthing St. Augustine materials are scattered among four different repositories which have been previously inaccessible to researchers worldwide and will soon be available in a freely searchable online database. Among the important items to be “unearthed,” which date from the 16th century to the present, include archival materials from the following: Government House – maps and overlays of the city, architectural drawings of historic structures and related government documents St. Augustine Historical Society – Spanish documents, transcriptions and English language translations City of St. Augustine Archaeology Program – records, photographs and site summaries for 100 excavations conducted over the past 20 years Herschel Shepard Collection at UF – drawings, photos and documents related to Shepard’s restoration and reconstruction of the city’s colonial buildings The collection will support research in a broad range of subjects: Florida and U.S. history, Spanish colonies, Native Americans, slavery, exploration, architecture and urban planning, social and economic development, missionary work, military defenses and warfare. When completed, Unearthing St. Augustine will not only satisfy the needs of a wide variety of researchers including historians, archaeologists, architects and historic preservationists, but the project will also help in telling St. Augustine’s unique “story” on a global scale. In support of the grant, Kathleen Deagan, distinguished research curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History, wrote: “Digital access to primary materials is probably the single most important factor in stimulating new and diverse scholarship on St. Augustine’s colonial history.

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