The Center for Middletown Studies is exploring ways to make digital resources generated by Middletown research available in online and digital environments. It has undertaken a variety of endeavors that employ emerging technologies to achieve this end.
One such project is What Middletown Read, a digital reconstruction of Muncie Public Library’s circulation data from 1891-1902. Others include the Middletown Studies Collection Library and Archives in Second Life and Virtual Middletown, a virtual living history museum, drawn from the extensive documentation of life in Muncie during the early 20th century. The Everyday Life in Middletown, an online archive and digital commons that includes day diaries and other evidence of ordinary experience is here. The Middletown Digital Oral History Project, an ongoing series of digital oral histories documenting social, cultural, and economic change in America’s Middletown, including recent studies of educational developments and the intersection of religion and civic life.
The Center is also currently developing a pair of text analysis/data visualization projects that examine Midwestern identity and experience during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Midwest County History project analyzes county histories produced between 1870 and 1920 to trace expressions of Midwestern community identities. The Wild West in the Heartland project looks at press coverage of performances of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West from 1883 to 1913, tracing the interplay between expressions Western and Midwestern regional identities in the reception of the famed traveling exhibition.