Through a partnership with the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Honors students of Christina Fisanick, Associate Professor of English at California University of Pennsylvania, have learned to create digital stories using archival materials from collections throughout western Pennsylvania and the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. You may remember the videos her students created last fall about Earl Oglebay and his contributions to the agriculture industry, the Oglebay glass collection and Sweeney Lead Glass Punch Bowl, the Benwood Mine Disaster, West Virginia Independence Hall and its role in the Civil War, and West Liberty’s Rare Books Collection.
“Most history lovers are familiar with Ken Burns’ epic documentaries, including The Dustbowl and Baseball. His abilities to make still photos and two-dimensional objects come alive are world renowned. Now, even Luddites can achieve similar, engaging effects with archival materials using a much shorter medium called digital storytelling,” Fisanick wrote when her students came to Wheeling last year. “Started as a grassroots movement to help people who might otherwise go unheard tell and share their stories, digital storytelling has become a vehicle for change around the world. To create a digital story, the storyteller needs a computer, iPad, or Smartphone, free digital storytelling software, a microphone, and digital images. The aim is to write a script that can be told in about three to five minutes. Once created, the digital story can be shared on the Internet, especially through social media, which broadens the audience reach exponentially.”
This past spring, Fisanick’s students traveled back to the Northern Panhandle and down into Marshall County. Archiving Wheeling is pleased to once again have the honor of showcasing their digital stories. We hope you enjoy their unique takes on some well-known and beloved subjects from our neighbors to the south — Fostoria Glass, the Strand Theater, Grave Creek Mound, the Cockayne Farmstead, the West Virginia State Penitentiary, and Marx Toys. Read More