Earlier this year I tried to start a “365″ project on Flickr. The basic idea is that you take a new photo every day and contribute it to a pool. I”ve been a dismal failure at this so far this year, even after trying to re-start my project by begining a “Then and Now” project based on the Champaign-Urbana Historic Built Environment collection.
The Champaign-Urbana Historic Built Environment Photograph Collection offers a selection from the holdings of the Champaign County Historical Archives, which was established as a department of The Urbana Free Library in 1956. Among its holdings of books, manuscripts, and maps, the archives has preserved over 50,000 photographs of local people and locations. This collection provides a sampling of the rich visual history of Champaign-Urbana’s historic built environment in the 19th and 20th century, including images of residential, commercial, governmental, educational, medical, and religious structures, and thus reflects the notion that historic buildings serve as an entryway into the community’s collective memory.
The Champaign-Urbana Historic Built Environment Photograph Collection is a joint project of the Champaign County Historical Archives at Urbana Free Library and the Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This was as far as I got on this project:
One thing that was becoming clear is that I needed some easier way to locate the next historic building for me to shoot. Since I was trying to replicate the view in the original photo I’d also need to be able to see it. Champaign has yet to be blessed with 3G, so it was painfully slow to browse to the ContentDM site and try to search for something, scroll through a list, etc. etc. The CUHBE collection DOES include the address of the site when know, but the address has been broken up into two separate fields, neither of which appear in the short display. There had to be an easier way to get to these records.
Piotr was able to build a Pipe that parsed the OAI_DC output from ContentDM (more coming soon from him on this) into various PIPE formats. This was a good step forward, but I still couldn’t see the addresses of the historic buildings. By adding a string builder module to the Piotr’s pipe, I now get the name of the building along with it’s address. Now, what I’d really like to do is put these locations on a map, but the location builder doesn’t seem to like the addresses in here – I’m sure with a little more poking I can get it to work, stay tuned!