WILMINGTON — Several Ohio archivists took a foray here into online digital “mapping,” receiving guidance from two Tokyo Metropolitan University (TMU) experts who shared the intricacies of the relatively new technology.
There was staff from the Peace Resource Center (PRC) of Wilmington College, an Antioch College professor of sculpture, an independent archivist who creates educational tools, a University of Oklahoma expert in modern Japanese history, as well as employees from Greene County Public Library, and the government agencies Greene County Records and Archives, and Licking County Records.
“What is really exciting for me is being able to bring people into this technology, then we become able to help each other and have more communities of people trying to make archives relevant and accessible and interesting to the Ohio public,” said Dr. Tanya Maus, PRC director.
There are thousands of applications for digital mapping, Maus said.
She gave an example of a local project that would be suited to the technology.
If somebody gathered information about every church in Clinton County and additionally someone created an online digital exhibit, people interested could then go online and zoom into Clinton County and find every church in the county. Further, the person could zoom in closer and closer and click on a particular church and read its history or information or stories related to it.
Using an open source digital mapping platform, exhibits can feature three-dimensional renderings, floating portraits, historical photographs, video stills, audio clips and much more in telling a story, Maus said.
After the two-day workshop for archivists held this week on the Wilmington College campus, TMU experts Kenya Tamura and Hiroki Inoue and a Peace Resource Center group worked on a specific project — creating a digital exhibit featuring Barbara Reynolds’ World Peace Study Mission in 1964. Reynolds founded the PRC in Wilmington in 1975.
Reynolds organized 27 survivors of the atomic bombings of Japan and 14 translators to travel with her in 1964 to the United States, France, United Kingdom and Soviet Union — then the world’s handful of nuclear powers.
“Barbara’s compelling story of political and civic engagement can now be part of a very large educational outreach,” Maus said.
Maus wishes to make the exhibit available in schools in southwest Ohio so lessons about nuclear warfare provided by the bombing survivors will not be forgotten.
The digital mapping training in Wilmington and related work was made possible by a $15,000 Ohio Humanities Council media grant.
Wilmington College Director of Public Relations Randy Sarvis contributed to this story.