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Archiving the Photographs of the First Transcontinental Railroad

University of Florida Institutional Repository
MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Archiving the Photographs of the First Transcontinental Railroad
Physical Description:
Mini grant Proposal
Creator:
Freeman, Richard
Willumson, Glenn
Publisher:
George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Digital Curation
Digital Humanities
Data Curation

Notes

Abstract:
The team proposes the creation of a digital photo-archive of images taken during the construction of the transcontinental railway in the 1860s. The project focusses on one of four bodies of images. These images are not available online, nor is the entire collection in one physical locality, two things this project will correct. The location of some of the images is unknown, thus we will create a blog to solicit images from the public – collectors and train enthusiasts, as well as to promote a dialogue about the images. It will be housed in the UFDC.
Acquisition:
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Richard Freeman.
Publication Status:
Unpublished

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID:
IR00003177:00001

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Archiving the Photographs of the First Transcontinental Railroad
Physical Description:
Mini grant Proposal
Creator:
Freeman, Richard
Willumson, Glenn
Publisher:
George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Digital Curation
Digital Humanities
Data Curation

Notes

Abstract:
The team proposes the creation of a digital photo-archive of images taken during the construction of the transcontinental railway in the 1860s. The project focusses on one of four bodies of images. These images are not available online, nor is the entire collection in one physical locality, two things this project will correct. The location of some of the images is unknown, thus we will create a blog to solicit images from the public – collectors and train enthusiasts, as well as to promote a dialogue about the images. It will be housed in the UFDC.
Acquisition:
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Richard Freeman.
Publication Status:
Unpublished

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID:
IR00003177:00001

Full Text

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Digitizing History: Archiving the Photographs of the First Transcontinental Railroad a) Project goals T h e project team is requesting from the committee fund s to create a pilot website The purpose of this undertaking is to gather together a body of photographs commissioned by the railroad companies during t he construction of the first U.S. transcontinental railroad in the 1860s and for the first time make them available to scholars and the public on the Internet. In this stage of the project the team will digitize and upload a portion of 240 large format images taken by photographer Andrew J. Russell for the Union Pacific Railroad in 186 8 9 The Oakland Museum in California owns 180 negatives from this body of work, with a set of corresponding prints. Glenn Willumson UF professor in the School of A rt & A rt H istory has permission to digitize the prints, and will be doing so this summer. These photographs are the primary focus of the website for this grant. The product will be an open access digital photographic archive ho sted (UFDC) This is the first step in bringing all of these historically important images together in one place A nother unique aspect of the project comes from the reality that the exact number of photographs has only been approximated through written records, and due to loss and wide distribution no one has a full set. Consequently, a component of the website will allow historians, photograph collectors train enthusiasts and others to upload images not in the archive, and tell their stories about how they came to own them. Comment boxes accompanying each photo will also encourage dialogue. The search for missing images and open discussions adds a n interactive public component to the site The team strongly believes it is important, when feasible, for a land grant university to consider involvement by the public in publicly f unded projects. Digitiz ing History thus ha s two primary purposes: 1) to engage scholars and the public in an effort to reconstruct the pictorial archive of the transcontinental railroad and encourage discussion by making them available on one website and 2) to serve as a pilot project for an external grant whose goal is to expand the website to include all photographs commissioned by both the Union and Central Pacific Railroads 4 bodies of work totaling approximately 1300 images creating for the first time, a complete visual archive of this rich cultural resource. Possible funding for this expanded project may come from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to name just three organizations. Importance for Ac ademic Research The completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869 was one of the most significant events in the second half of the nineteenth century. Construction beg a n during the Civil War and, with the ending of the conflict, re directed na tional attention and re oriented American discourse from P opular and, to a large extent, historical understanding of this grand event is based on the photographs commissioned by the two competing railroad companies between 18 65 and 1870 according to Willumson, whose book about the transcontinental railroad photographs was published by University of California Press in 2013 These images are among the first photographs of the Western United States between the Missouri River a nd the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. There are three major institutions that hold the majority of the large format Russell images One is the Yale library which has two albums scanned and available online These are not high resolution copies of the images themselves, but of small images printed on larger pages i n a book. And there are only 86 images in both album s. The Oakland Museum h olds 160 negatives, but only 16 are digitized

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2 and online. Finally, The Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa does not have any of their images available online. Scholarship flourishes when it is engaged with accurate information. According to Willumson, t he fact that the photographs of the transcontinental railroad are scattered from instit utions on the East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast has resulted in historical misunderstandings In fact, the time Willumson himself needed to write his book about the photographs of the tran scontinental railroad was extended by years due to the se physical complications Because these digitized images will be considered primary source material by scholars, Digitizing History will elimin ate these obstacles by making the entire collection avail able to future scholars with the click of the mouse. While bringing together these images in a single searchable image archive is a worthwhile project in and of itself the team intend s for the website to be a space for active discourse about the images, the railroad, and collecting by allow ing visitors to upload their own images and to comment o n and tag the photographs Th e website will include l imited profiles of contributors, which will serve a variety of purpose s adding to the integrity and responsibility for comments and tags, creating an on line community of engagement, and, potentially, collecting information about collections and collecting practices. This interaction will be moderat ed by Professor Glenn Willumson. T h e commentaries and discussions will add a rich texture to the images by engaging scholars of history, art history, anthropology, collectors, and railroad enthusiasts Importance for the Library collections of international distinction that support the full range of UF teaching and research activities will continue Digitizing History contributes to this goal in new and original ways. By taking full advantage of th e most current digital and online capabilities and stressing open access and public participation i t showcases a novel way of collecting historically important documents. This will igital archives, and academic research in the digital humanities. It is a true collaboration between the library and an academic unit, breaking new ground, and can be seen as a model for other similar projects. Other universities, such as Du Monfort in Leichester, England, have supported projects that have linked existing library collections into a single database, but there is no project that invites public engagement in the way that Digitiz ing History does. Being ho st also will immediately put the Smathers Libraries on the map as a major internat ional resource for these images and a s a unique example of public and academic collaboration As shown in the letters of support, this is a project of interest to more than just one departme nt on campus and with additional public orientation, it will generate interest from w ide circles both inside and outside of academia. c) Similar Projects i n other Academic and Cultural Institutions The team is certainly not making a case that image collections of railroads do not exist on the I nternet. What separates Digitizing History from these other digital collections is the early dates of the photographs and the full narrative their documentation provide These attributes infuses in them a great historical importance for both US history and the history of photography. Many photographic archives contain digitized images of a personal collection, such as The Jo hn P. Vander Maas Railroadiana C ollection : http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/c dm/landingpage/collection/railroadiana These images are somewhat random capturing scenes of the railroad coming through Iowa in the 20 th century. The creator or dates

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3 of the images may or may not be known. Another collection is housed at the Newberry Library in Chicago. It consists of 864 scanned images (of 3,000 negatives) of life along the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad. This collection has some similaritie s to the Russell collection in that it wa s commissioned by the railroad ( in 1949) and the images were taken by two known photographers: http://collections. carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/index_nby_rrlife.php?CISOROOT=/nby_rrlife What these two websites demonstrate is the importance for libraries to carry on this kind of historical, digital archiving N owhere ha s the team located such a un ique and complete set of historically important images from the early years of photography that will be open to all on the Digitizing History website. While not about trains, the New York H eritage Digital Collections has a nice exhibit of the Daniel Dumy ch Collection which documents the history of the development of hydro electric power in Niagara Falls, NY. The images were taken in the late 19 th century, and like the Digitizing H istory project documents a m ajor development in US industry: http://www.nyheritage.org/collections/daniel dumych An other interesting website is that of the City Museum of New York which is initializing a Activist in New York in one of its galleries. While the exhibit itself is not online, a blog on the website ask s people to submit images of activists : http://blog.activistnewyork.mcny.org/ Many images are shown online and a select few will be included Digitizing History are obvious, there are a few differences. Digitizing History museum staff is asking f or new, current, unlimited numbers of images whereas Digitizing History is focused on the digital curati o n of a specific and finite set of historical prints. d) Resources Needed The project team will hire a local web designer to design the website and blog. The team has spoken with Betsy Simpson who has offered expert services in helping set up the fields for the metadata need ed for each image, as well as assist with conceptual ly planning a metadata template Mark Sullivan and Gus Clifton of the IT department have agreed to work with the web designer ingest the data and images and launch the website on the UF server. Glenn Willumson will be traveling to Oakland California this summer to scan the 180 large format photographs in their coll ection. He has already worked with them for his book, and he has the blessing to scan them and upload them on to the website. His scans will be at 600dpi a r esolution approved by Mark Sullivan in IT Finally, Richard Freeman, the PI will act as a coordinator between all these parties having experience and knowledge in the history of photography, archives, website design, digitization, and digital libraries. e) Project Timeline (2013 2014) Timeframe Activity Responsible Parties July Scan 180 photographs at the Oakland Museum Glenn Willumson August November Number images and create metadata schematic Begin designing website Enter metadata into spreadsheet Richard Freeman, Glenn Willumson, Betsy Simpson, Gus Clifton Web designer December February Finish website design. Upload data and images onto website (offline) Review and make corrections. Richard Freeman, Glenn Willumson, Betsy Simpson, Gus Clifton Web designer

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4 March April Launch site onto UF server Make sure it is running smoothly. Make it public. Richard Freeman, Glenn Willumson, Gus Clifton Web designer May Announce the launching of the website to various interested orga nizations and groups narrative). Richard Freeman, Glenn Willumson f) Ownership and Copyrights These historic images having been created in the 1800s, are a part of the public domain The issues are in locating collections and being granted permission by the curators or private owner s to digitize them (if necessary) and upload them onto the site. The team already ha s this permission from the Oakland Museum for the portion of the c ollection central to this grant, and permissions from other institutions which have holdings of the other three bodies of work, the focus of phase II of the project. g) The Final Product Completion will occur with the launching of the website hosting the set of 180 images from the Oakland Museum in a fully searchable image archive that will also include a c omponent for open discussions inspired by the photographs and to help locate missing images. Success will be seen by its ability to attract institutional and private uploads and generate active interacti on amongst scholars and the interested public. In the longer term, success will be gauged by its impact on scholars, and the worldwide audience using the UF DC With the 150 th anniversary of the completion of the railroad in May 2019, there is every expectation that the pictorial archive and website will be widely used. An additional measure of success will be whether or not the project team can attract outside funding to finish the larger project of including all 1300 historic images in the collection. h) Getting the Word Out When the site is up and running t he team will contact major railroad enthusiast clubs such as : the Railway and Locomotive H istorical Society, collectors of civil war era photographs, museums, listserves, and other interested organizations. It will be list ed on Libguides and on o rganizational wikis such as the one run by the American Anthropological Association. Additionally, a page on Wikipedia will be created i) Financial Future The key expense for this entire project is the initial design and launching of the website whic h is what the funds requested in this grant will pay for Once the site is up and running t he one ongoing cost will be F uture expansion of the site will be success in obtaining grants from outs ide funding agencies. j) Equipment Purchased No equipment will be purchased I nstitutional knowledge to duplicate similar digital libraries for f uture projects will be created The only outside expense is the cost s involved for designing the website

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5 Bud get Narrative k) Expenses Calculations The team met with two web designers (separately). After discussing the project we asked for a cost estimate from each. The costs were nearly identical, so the team chose the person most qualified for the task. T he task involves: d esigning the architecture, site map with required searching capabilities, graphic desi gn page layouts, all coding (HT M L/CSS), and developing the search functions. Total: $ 4,820.00. l) Expense Justification The only monetary expense the team is requesti ng is to pay for a professional web designer. Desi g ning a complex website will take over 80 hours of intensive work by someone who knows what s/he is doing A professional is needed to see that it is completed with elegance, simplicity, and that everything under the hood will work. This intensive specialized work is not available in house. m) PI s R ole The PI s role is one of executive producer. That is, he has the bac kground knowledge of all facets of the project to coordinate the specialists in each area contribute to those areas when needed, and bring it altogether to completion. H e will work with Willumson and the web designer in the capacity of quality control, to see that the design is accepta ble and the functions work. He will work with Simpson and Willumson to create the metadata fields and the template. H e will work with Willumson to populate the templates with metadata. He will keep an open line of communication with Gus during th e ingesting of the ima ges and metadata and during the t est ing and final launching of the website. Finally, he will work with Willumson to publicize the website and write a grant to finance collect ing and digitizing the images from the other 3 collections and complete the website. Cost share estimates are 4%, coming to $2,632.00 n) Cost Share Betsy Simpson will help the team creat e the metadata fields that will be the matrix by which users will be able to search fo r a specific image, or set of images. She will aid the team in conceptually thinking about what fields are needed, and help set up the template, whi ch will be filled in by the team. Cost share estimates are 1 .0 % coming to $1,075.00 Gus Clifton will be in contact with the web designer to make sure the c od e used to create the website will integrate seamlessly with the library s platform He will also help the team ingest the materials and uploa d the project onto the server in the UFDC. Cost share estimates are 2.0%, coming to $1,797.00.

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04-Budget_Form_2012-2013-Posted.xlsx, 08/15/2012 Please add lines to table as needed. If you need help completing this form, please contact Bess de Farber, PH# 273-2519. 1. Salaries and Wages (no fringe benefits required) Name of Person Salary times % of effort Grant Funds Cost Share Total Betsy Simpson $107,586.72 X 1.0% $0.00 $1,075.87 $1,075.87 James "Gus" Clifton $71,909.30 X 2.0% $0.00 $1,797.73 $1,797.73 Richard Freeman $65,806.05 X 4.0% $0.00 $2,632.24 $2,632.24 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 SUBTOTAL $0.00 $5,505.84 $5,505.84 2. Equipment Item Quantity times Cost Grant Funds Cost Share Total $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 SUBTOTAL $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 3. Supplies Item Quantity times Cost Grant Funds Cost Share Total $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 SUBTOTAL $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 4. Travel From/To # of people/# of days Grant Funds Cost Share Total $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 SUBTOTAL $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 5. Other (Vendor costs, etc. Provide detail in Budget Narrative section.) Item Quantity times cost Grant Funds Cost Share Total Web Consultant $4,820.00 $0.00 $4,820.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 SUBTOTAL $4,820.00 $0.00 $4,820.00 Grant Funds Cost Share Total Total Direct Costs (add subtotals of items 1-5) $4,820.00 $5,505.84 $10,325.84 Mini Grant Budget Form 2012-2013 Page 1 of 1

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May 13, 2013 To the Library Grant Committee : I am writing in support of Glenn Willumson and Richard s Libraries Mini Grant to create a digital archive of photographs of the first transcontinental railroad, beginning with the large format images of Andrew J. Russell, photographer for the Union Pacific Railroad and a central figure in the history of American art There has been a resurgence of interest in nineteenth century western survey photography over the past se veral years, including a major retrospective on Eadweard Muybr idge (Corcoran Museum and Nelson Atkins Museum of Art ); photogr aphs of the Columbia River (Portland Art Museum) ; as well as the recent publication of anticipated Iron Muse: Photographing the Transcontinental Railroad While the his tory of American photography appears at first glance to be ridd led with fewer challenges than other disciplines, given its comparatively recent history and the seeming abundance of archives and collections, it is still a field fraught with conjecture. One need to Fr aming the West: The Survey the exhibition catalogue based on the 2010 exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In his essay, Willumson successfully re attributed a critical series of photographs an to Andrew J. Russell, correcting a misunderstanding about these two artists that dated back to the original publication of the images in 1876 and further illuminating the intricacies of image production, authorship and ownership in the nineteenth cent extensive first published in print or on line to any great extent. At present, we stand between the 150 th anniversary of the P acific Railroad Act and the 150 th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah. I can think of no better moment to embark on this project, and am certain it is in the best possible hands with Drs. Willumson and Freeman. This project will be a valuable resource for curators, photographers, railroad historians, and academics in a wide range of disciplines, n moments in Amer ican history and American Art. Sincerely, TobyJurovics Chief Curator and Holland Curator of American Western Art

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The Foundation of the Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere 200 Walker Hall P.O. Box 118030 Gainesville, FL 326 11 tel. 352.392.0796 fax 352.392 5378 www.humanities.u fl.edu 7 May 201 3 MiniGrant Program George A. Smathers Libraries University of Florida Gainesville, FL. 32611 7010 To members of the UF Library Mini Grant Committee, I am happy to provide a letter of support of the internal library mini grant proposal submitted by Richard Freeman (UF Anthropology Librarian) in collaboration with Glenn Willumson (Professor, School of Art + Art History). This pilot Digitizing History project, a scholarly and crowdsourced digital archive of photographs from the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, would place the University of Florida Smathers Libraries on the cutting edge of public engagement through collaborative library and digital humanities scholarship. I also predict that this particular project will be a strong contender for significant external funding following its successful pilot stage and evaluation Let me tell you why. First, o ver the past few years, leading library and humanities organizations such as the Mellon communities of scholars by bringing toget her high quality digital reproductions of materials located physically in archives worldwide. Such archives are the basic infrastructure for exciting comparative work that was not possible prior without significant travel expense. These archives also enabl e more computational methods of research in the humanities, such as tracking the existence of certain visual elements across a large number of images or using GIS technologies to map many different archival manuscripts Few of these archival projects, howe ver, work with photographs. So, th e Digitizing History project would enable UF to be on the forefront of developing innovative methods to navigate and analyze photographic archival materials. Second, this project stands out among other virtual archiv al co llections in its fused scholarly and public orientation. While many innovative projects at other libraries invite members of the public such projects engage the public as fellow knowledge producers and research collaborators in providing materials. By inviting amateur railroad enthusiasts to use and contribute to the archive, the Digitizing History project sets the stage for academic libraries to build closer ties to their public and potential donors. The Quilt Index website, a humanities museum collaboration at Michigan State University that invites contributions from quilt enthusiasts around the world, demonstrates proof of concept f or such a publicly engaged initiative. I also see a n excellent tie between this project and the IMLS funded Panama Canal Museum

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Collections project at UF. Both of these projects ask and answer the question: how can a university library be a steward of a cu ltural community? I personally think that it would be very exciting to tout UF as a leader in scholarly community stewardship through digital archive development Third and final, this project is a marvelous model for how librarians and de partment faculty at UF can work together to discover common strengths and address ga ps in world archival holdings. In particular, t his project serve s as a n example for other UF faculty to see library collaboration a s an integral part of academic research. So concept in the humanities discipline s This Digitizing History project humanizes data curation by making preservation a natural part of the scholarly research process. And, finally, this proj ect help s us in the hu manities t o consider the public audiences who are relevant to our scholarship and to realize that the library is the way in which we can reach these broader audiences. Thank you for your consideration of this exciting proposal. If I can be of furth er assistance please feel free to contact me. Best regards, Sophia Krzys Acord, Ph.D. Associate Director, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law skaco rd@ufl.edu

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State of California Natural Resources Agency Edmund G. Brown Jr. Governor DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret) Director May 6, 2013 Dear Grant Reviewers: California (OMCA). To the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) thes e negatives could hardly be more significant. Documenting the building of the first transcontinental railroad is at the public would greatly enhance research capa bilities by enthusiasts and scholars alike. One added consideration is that the OMCA and its storage facilities are located near two significant earthquake faults lines the Hayward Fault and the San Andreas Fault. The Loma Prieta earthquake struck the S an Francisco Bay Area of California on October 17, 1989. It was caused by a slip along the San Andreas Fault and measured 6.9 on the Richter scale. The quake killed 63 people injured 3,757 and caused major structural damage to structures, bridges and hi ghways While such an event is unlikely, and the collection is well protected, the fact that these glass plate negatives are housed in the Bay Area does put them at risk during an earthquake. Digitizing them becomes even more important when considering tha t a significant number of early glass plates were lost during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. institutions and individuals add to the collection is especially ast ute given that so many of the negatives and original prints are rare and some of the only versions in existence are held in private hands. The CSRM Library would be happy to contribute both images and information to this endeavor. Yours truly, Kendra Dill ard Director of Exhibits Capital District California State Parks kdillard@parks.ca.gov 916 997 7779

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College of Fine Art PO Box 11 5801 School of Art and Art History Gainesville, Florida 32611 5801 352 392 9977 352 392 8453 Fax I am writing this letter in support of Dr. Glen n Willumson application for a Smathers L ibrary Mini Grant F und s to pilot a website that would attempt to gather, for the first time, all the photographs of the first transcontinental railroad The internet has brought about the opportunity for people to share their knowledge and added to avai la ble materials and develop robust databases of images and i nformation. While the proposed digital resource would be a space for active discourse abou t the images, the railroad, and collecting it also engages the use of primary source material for education For example, the website would o ff the following educational benefits : U s e of primary source material as a method that is true to the best practices of contemporary art historians, E ngage ment of students authentic research analysis and judgment of primary source material that is free of opinions and interpretations and C onsider ation of content through multiple lenses were many people providing contextual insights and combinations of interpretations to reflect on hist orical events, pe ople and culture. ( e.g., like the Human Genome Project (HGP) recent brain mapping project s, and Wikipedia ) I n the Fall 2012 I attended a meeting w ith Marilyn N. Ochoa, (mnochoa@ufl.edu) Assistant Head Librarian (Education) along with several faculty from the College of E ducation who provided input on a new Education Library project called Teacher Resources Collection The focus of the project is to consider and build a database of original educational materials which use the unique resources the UF library system has digitized (primary source material). Therefore, the proposed project supports the need and growing interest in how education can creatively access and use d igital primary course material. Th e pilot of a website of photographs of the first transcontinental railroad is especially valuable in today s data (visual) saturated world, as it offers educators and their student s the ability to engage in research and make their own analyses and judgments of image information wi thout having to consider someone else's interpretation and/or opinions I am glad to add the resource to the primary resource we use i n art education for empowering teachers to access and engag e with images in teaching students the value of using primary source material for art, historic al, and culture research. Michelle D. Tillander, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Art School of Art and Art History, University of Florida PO Box 115801, Gainesville, FL 32611 5801 Office Phone: 352.392.9977 Fax: 352.392.8453: 757 619 4444 (c): mtilland@ufl.edu

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The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution College of Liberal Arts & Sciences PO Box 117305 Department of Anthropology Gainesville, FL 32611 7305 Dr. Richard Kernaghan 352 392 2253 kernaghan@ufl.edu 352 392 6929 Fax May 15, 2013 Grant Management Committee University of Florida Libraries Dear members of the Grant Management Committee Dr. Richard Freeman recently informed me of a project he is co developing with Dr. Glen Willumson to create a web based photo archive of the first US transcontinental railroad. I understand they are seeking th e financial support of UF Libraries, so I thought your committee might appreciate receiving input from members of the UF faculty. With that in mind please accept this letter of support In what follows I simply wish to share some of the reasons why I thi nk the "Digitalizing History" project would bring exciting new resources to UF for research as well as teaching. In socio cultural anthropology and related fields the political and social effects of mega infrastructure projects ( especially dams but also s ewages systems, harbors and highways) have recently become vibrant areas of study Thus, t he scholarly relevance of this projec t is immediately apparent to me. Furthermore, I am delighted to know about the Digitalizing History initiative because frontier roads are an important topic of my own scholarly work in Peru. Specifically I am interested in how the construction (both material and discursive) of what I call "first roads" radically transforms social habitats and patterns of human mobility. In fact t he impacts of new frontier roads on rain forest environments in particular have been a long standing research theme for scholars at UF ( notably through the Center for Tropical Conservation and Development ) The mid 19 th Century construction of a railroad acr oss the continental US was clearly a major first road event (arguably the most transformative ) whose history can offer vital insights into how nationhood becomes inflected through transportation infrastructure s Yet what is especially significant a nd indeed different about Drs. F reeman and Willumson's project is the ir emphasis on photography. Communication studies have long noted the symbiotic histories of the railroad and the telegraph. Much less emphasis has been place d on how photographic techno logies emerged at the same time and were crucial in the US for altering the geographic imagination of the country

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The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution As regards teaching, h ere at UF I regularly offer two courses for which the digital archive would not only serve as an excellent pedagogical tool but c ould provide rich sources materials for student projects In my graduate seminar "Roads and Road Publics the concept of first roads is a major theme. I al so teach separate non simultaneous graduate and undergraduate versions of "Topographies of Law Since this second class explores how material and historical specificities of place s hape legal phenomena, transportation i nfrastructure is a crucial topic. Next Spring (2014) I will teach the undergraduate Topographies class as well as the graduate roads course If the Digitalizing History collection is up and running by that time I will certainly add a special section on the transcontinental railroad to the syllabi for both In anticipation I am already thinking of ways students mi ght utilize the archive's planned interactive features and thus contribute to the on line public discussions sparked by the image collection In sum, the project Drs. Freeman and Willumson propose is innovative and clearly advances the broad educational and research missions of UF. I very much hope they will win your support. Should you have questions or if I may be of assistanc e in some other way, please feel free to contact me. Cordially, Richard Kernaghan Assistant Professor Department of Anthropology

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From: Noll,Steven G Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 1:56 PM To: Glenn G. Willumson Subject: RE: useful website? As a member of the UF history department, I fully support your application for a mini grant for a website built around historical photographs. It will certainly allow for better access to visual imagery for our students. This will give students, particularly those in AMH 2010 and AMH 2020, the introductory American history classes, an opportunity to view original photographs of America moving w est. It also will be a valuable asset in the history of capitalism classes and classes that deal with the time period after the Civil War (Gilded Age/Progressive Era which I teach and would use this website for my class.) This is a grant that will reall y give a significant return for the money invested in the project. Thanks for continuing to work with the history department through initiatives like this. I recommend that this grant be funded in full. Best Steve Noll Steven Noll Department of Hist ory University of Florida 025 Keene Flint Hall PO Box 117320 Gainesville, FL 32611 352 273 3380 nolls@ufl.edu

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The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution College Of Fine Arts 101 Fine Arts C School of Art and Art History PO Box 115801 Gainesville, FL 32611 5801 352 392 0201 352 392 8453 Fax www.arts.ufl.edu Ma y 10, 2013 Mini Grant Committee Smathers Libraries Mi ni Grant Dear Smathers Mini Grant Committee, mini grant application. As the grant notes, I have been doing research on the visual representation of the first transcontinental railroad for over a decade. To do this work, I had first to understand the territory of imagery and was surprised to find how scattered it was. Archives in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Oakland, Council Bluffs, Iowa City, Milwaukee, New York, and New Haven all have large numbers of these historic photographs, but none of them have a anything close to a comprehensive collection. With the publication of my book, I can now turn my attention to repairing this rift in the historic record and to gathering the photographs of the transcontinental railroad into a single digital location The 150 th anniversary of the ground breaking was held last January. Over the next six years there will be more public events, essays, and exhibitions that focus on the construction and fin al completion of the transcontinental railroad. Like the pictorial archives, these efforts will be fragmented unless there is a comprehensive collection of and making available on an inte ractive web platform the large format photographs by the Union Pacific Railroad photographer Andrew Russell. The intention is to use this project as the first step to a larger national grant that would allow the digitization and uploading of all of the ph otographs of the transcontinental railroad before 1870, approximately 1300 images. Locally, the archive can be used by graduates and undergraduates interested in the historic content of the images. It can also be used in classes interested in how humanit ies disciplines might use the web for interactive discourse about images and history. Graphic design majors can critique the site and offer suggestions for improvement, and art historians can use it as a way of interacting with primary resources to produc e insightful commentary about the aesthetic implications of the images. For my part, the

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digital archive will give my undergraduates in history of photography the opportunity to work with primary source materials for research papers. It will also serve m y graduate seminars as an example of the types of on line activities that might be embraced by museums. The archive will serve as a platform for critiquing and discussing what aspects are most effective and how it might be altered in a museum setting. Th ere is no doubt that this digital archive will serve as a magnet for scholars but it will also offer a new model for public humanities. It is not just scholars who are interested in the railroad. There is a large body of collectors, amateur historians, and railroad enthusiasts who would also engage the digital archive. On the website, each would be able to offer questions and expertise about dif ferent aspects of the images, thereby producing a fuller understanding of the meaning of individual photograph s and of the photographic project as a whole. Through the mechanism of an interactive website, the larger project would also be able to gather information about the history of institutional collecting, the interests of private collectors, and other tangential but potentially very rich data source We will investigate other aspects of the larger project at an open meeting of scholarly staff and faculty during the fall semester We have already had interest from faculty in the library, the Harn Museum, art history, digital arts, history, and art education. I urge you to fund the Digital History website because the creation of such an archive would have a local and a national impact. Already the California State Railroad Museum has asked 2013 and be on view for a year. Sincerely, Glenn Willumson Director of the Graduate Pr ogram in Museum Studies Professor of Art History