|Digitizing Bartow County History – Etowah Valley Historical Society (EVHS)|
|The Etowah Valley Historical Society (EVHS) is Bartow County’s senior historical body and dedicated to preserving and promoting its heritage.
Bartow County is rich with historic sites and events regarding ancient Native Americans, Civil War activity, natural resources and political personalities. As a result, EVHS has chosen to expand its programming to deliver as much content as possible via digital access and create a platform for an alternative educational option for our local schools.
In early 2012, the EVHS Board voted to reconstruct its web site and in doing so chose to expand its role to provide an educational module embedded within the web page designed to reach local schools at the middle school and high school levels. An agreement was reached with the local school systems to participate in the project.
In the fall of 2012, EVHS launched a new educational program entitled, Bartow History Scholars (BHS). This program is primarily directed at Bartow’s youth which is intended to provide educational content and appeal to local students using contemporary web interactions.
As an enhancement to the EVHS BHS curriculum digital maps were envisioned to further illustrate historical topics or categories in Bartow County. Initially seven maps were proposed including Native American, Historical Communities, Cemeteries, Civil War, Geology, Mining, and Manufacturing.
The EVHS Vice President and director of the BHS program (Joe Head) approached the Bartow County GIS Office (Tim Poe) and KSU GIS degree program (Dr. Nancy Hoalst-Pullen) to join in a cooperative to create and host these historical maps. As a means to advance the project, the KSU GIS program agreed to furnish four interns to be sponsored by EVHS and guided by the Bartow GIS Office. Four students were assigned to creating the interactive, dynamic online historical maps. The KSU internship team was made up of Robbie Bagby, Matt Lloyd, Judy Morice, and Michael Vest. Each intern was responsible for different portions of the overall project, but worked together toward and supported one another toward completion of their common goal.
The purpose of this project is to engage Bartow County youth by offering local history in our schools and other interested individuals. The objective is to accelerate a younger generation of Bartow Historians and create an interest to preserve and learn about our county’s history at an earlier age.
The innovation to include themed, interactive digital maps to the BHS tutorials adds graphical learning power to the program and becomes a state of the art pacesetting tool for other historical societies to consider. It is hoped this model will be adopted by other counties. The project has attracted the attention of state educational entities and foundations that may wish to support or replicate the program.