My new gig: Wisconsin Heritage Online

I don’t know if I have more than a handful of regular readers out there, but if you do drop by occasionally, you may have wondered why my posts have become so few and far between in the past few months. This summer, I started a new job as the Outreach Specialist for Wisconsin Heritage Online. WHO is a statewide digitization program with a central web portal,, where users can search across a range of digital collections related to Wisconsin culture and history (including the Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database).

As Outreach Specialist, I work with local historical societies, museums, and libraries throughout the state to help them choose materials to digitize and to learn how to digitize those materials. It’s a natural outgrowth of my work with local organizations for the decorative arts project, although I now have the opportunity to work with a wider and more diverse range of content–photographs and archives as well as artifacts.

The position is funded by a grant from the Nicholas Family Foundation at 75% time, which leaves me with 25% of my time to devote to the Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database (the Chipstone Foundation continues to provide support for that 25%, along with matching funds from the Kaufman Americana Foundation). So the project will continue to grow, but at a slower rate than it has for the past few years.

I’ll take the liberty of doing some cross-promotion here, since I think my readers can make good use of the historic resources Wisconsin Heritage Online has to offer. You can browse and search the WHO web portal here, or if you’re affiliated with a local historical society or museum in Wisconsin and are thinking about digitization, you can read more about how to participate in the program here. And if you’re a Twitterer, you can follow WHO on Twitter under the username @WiHeritage (and you don’t have to use Twitter to read the WiHeritage feed here).

Posted by Emily Pfotenhauer.


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