This weekend I had an opportunity to exhibit the Denison University Homestead archive at a homesteading fair at Bryn Du Mansion in Granville put on by the Granville Libraries. The fair had about 35 mostly local vendors and hobbyists most of which were presenting on different homestead activities. Melanie, a fellow Homesteader and I were working on community outreach for the Denison University Homestead at the fair. Our outreach involved presenting on the history of the Homestead from 1977 to the present.
Using materials that I had gathered throughout the course of my archiving work this past summer, I created a Prezi presentation to showcase the timeline of the Homestead. Although this information is all publically accessible on Denison’s online archive website at http://drc.denison.edu/handle/2374.DEN/775, because the most important historical materials are overwhelmed by the lesser documents, it is hard to construct a useful timeline without an intricate knowledge of the archive. Using Prezi allowed me to make an interactive timeline of the Homestead without the clutter of smaller less important documents. This timeline turned out better than expected, however, the project was plagued by Java crashes in all web browsers other than Firefox. After the timeline was completed, I used Prezi’s export to offline feature to take the timeline with me to the fair.
With the presentation running on loop on two laptops, we proceeded to help people learn more about the Homestead supplemented through the use of our digital archive. Prezi turned out to be a great tool for helping people to interact with multimedia in a structured way, while also giving people the option to skip to the information that is relevant to them.