HomeAbout Digital WindhamContributors to Digital Windham

Contributors to Digital Windham

Fall 2020

The inaugural Digital Windham course was taught in Fall 2020, when students created a timeline of key events in the town's history, as well as case histories of notable people, places and events in its past (see Browse Exhibits). This included several walking tours of important neighborhoods, although COVID required us to be properly masked and distanced:

Photo of Digital Windham students

Students from HIS388 Fall 2020 Digital Windham in front of one of the buildings in the American Thread mill complex on the Willimantic River (L-R): Richard Freebairn, Russell Hagios, Liz Bartoshevich, Max Turner, Molly Charland, Matt Coppinger, Lindsey Dore, Tyler Hall, Briana Dube.

Eastern History and American Studies graduate Allen Horn ('21) was also instrumental in helping create the digital version of the timeline.

Fall 2021

Drs. Kirchmann and Ostwald once again held the course in Fall 2021. We had students research and write new exhibits of significant people, places and events in Willimantic's history from the 19th through 20th centuries. This time, we taught the students to create the exhibits themselves in the Omeka content management system, the website you are reading right now.

Students who participated included: Brian Albee, Willard Brin, Madison Cotner, Nigel Harris, Bryan Merritt, and Summer Pellegrini. Willard Brin also worked to edit the entries.

Fall 2022

In Fall 2022, Dr. Ostwald taught Digital Windham with a different focus, an exploration of the history of Willimantic in the year 1910. Students worked on mapping, categorizing news stories in the Willimantic Chronicle newspaper, exploring the 1910 census, and researching and writing exhibits on infrastructures within the town in 1910 - transportation, social/cultural groups, education and emergency services. Participating students included Paula Hernández Aulet, Emma Dashnaw, Jenna Rice and Jacob Krupa.

In the same semester, students in Dr. Ostwald's Introduction to Digital History course also had the option to explore Willimantic census data, or to explore (and transcribe) data from the annual mayor reports, particularly information on reported crimes and reported fires. The fire data for 1900-1910 was transcribed by Nesrin Akkus, Nicholas Berthod, Emma Dashnaw, Alyssa Gomez-Normil, Kaitlyn Mackewicz, Jenna Rice, Jessica Vieira, and Michael Warren.

Previous work performed by Drs. Emil Pocock and Ania Kirchmann, including student Jennifer McNeil ('09), provided 1910 Willimantic with a transcript of the 10,800 residents of the city listed in the census. Over several years additional data entry was performed by Dana Meyer ('19), Allen Horn ('21), Matt Coppinger ('21), and Willard Brin ('22).

Spring 2022

Two students participated in independent studies in Spring 2022 to edit and expand the previous semester's exhibits, as well as assist in developing two more: People and Places in 1910 Willimantic. Students: Paula Hernandez Aulet ('24) and Tom O'Brien ('25).

External Contributors

Digital Windham is not the first site to present the history of Willimantic online. The Bibliography sections of each Digital Windham exhibit details the variety of resources available on the town, but particular attention should be drawn to the work of the Windham Textile & History Museum, and its former directors Tom Beardsley and Jamie Eves. The online collection created by Peter Zizka, threadcity.us, is also a goldmine of photographs of the town's history, and we thank his permission to use some of its photographs.