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CIC grant funds internships, plan for community project

8.28.2019

In fall 2018 Illinois College received a $6,000 award from a Consortium on Digital Resources for Teaching and Research Development Grant from the Council of Independent Colleges.

The grant allowed Illinois College to explore the possibility of a future History Harvest during spring 2019. As a result, the 2021 History Harvest will be held at Illinois College in preparation for Jacksonville's bicentennial in 2025. The History Harvest will meet the needs of the community as it prepares to explore its past.

Community members and collaborators are invited to bring historical materials to be scanned or photographed as part of the History Harvest. The College will compile a database of digital images documenting local history. These images may be made available to community boards, organizations and schools.

Jenny Barker-Devine, associate professor of history, and Samantha Sauer, archivist, curator and assistant professor of history, co-led the project with Illinois College interns who enjoyed an immersive four-week internship in May 2019. The internship concluded with a public program featuring the students’ findings. 

Three IC students interned with the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives in May 2019 through the CIC grant. Rising senior Stacy Bile ’20 served as the oral history intern with the project, exploring best practices in conducting, recording and transcribing oral histories. Bile conducted short video interviews with three Congolese immigrants about living in Jacksonville. 

Abby Garrett ’22 served as the project’s digital history intern, uploading digital projects and relevant information onto JSTOR Forum, which is the database IC uses to share digitized content with the campus and the community. Ibrahim Kamal ’21 served as the project’s communications and research intern, conducting research on other local, regional and national examples of History Harvests and developing a guide of resources and logistics for project leaders. 

Alongside the CIC project, Nely Muñoz ’20, who served as a public history intern, explored the historical collections on campus to highlight stories and moments in the College’s 190-year history for a future public display. 

All four students presented on campus with Barker-Devine in her talk “Harvesting Jacksonville’s History: Engaging the Community with the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives” to the public on Thursday, May 30 as part of the College’s Blue Bag Summer Series. 

“The students’ work allowed us to test the limits of our technology and think through big pictures issues that we might not have considered otherwise,” Barker-Devine said. “Now, as we seek funding sources for the History Harvest, we are able to move ahead with an understanding of how to manage an event on this scale and how to best serve our community partners.”

The CIC award also partially supported the Spring 2019 visit from the Detroit Historical Society. The DHS presented a public program at Illinois College earlier this year in April, as well as a free workshop on oral history at the Jacksonville Public Library. 

Organizations, boards, club, groups or individuals are invited to share ideas for themes, corresponding events, and needs for images that would complement their unique projects. Those interested in participating in the 2021 History Harvest, please email historyharvest@ic.edu.

About the Consortium on Digital Resources for Teaching and Research

​With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CIC is offering member institutions the opportunity to be part of a Consortium on Digital Resources for Teaching and Research to improve teaching and learning, enhance faculty and student/faculty research, and streamline administrative capabilities through a uniform and cost-effective system. Each institution in the Consortium has identified at least one collection that could be made more valuable and used more frequently if it were stored and shared via a networked solution. The members of the Consortium have convened once each year for three years to share ideas, collections, research projects, and teaching strategies. This Consortium is endorsed by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of about 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit www.ic.edu or call 217.245.3467 for more information.

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