National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


Illinois shoulders ATLAS (Alliance's Trail to Learning-casts and Syndicated Sites)

Illinois, long a leader in the digital world, has put together another fascinating tool called ATLAS (Alliance's Trail to Learning-casts and Syndicated Sites). A project of the Alliance Library System and LearningTimes, ATLAS, according to announcement posted to various mailing lists,

"is a new set of social media tools ALS is using to promote information and historical photos about Illinois history. ALS and LearningTimes partnered to create this innovative and exciting new model of collaborative digital imaging collections using multimedia and social networking tools to bring historical times to life, and involving a community at large in its creation. The project debuted June 29th with an online conference. A recording of the event is available at The Cullom-Davis Library at Bradley University will serve as the first partner library to produce additional podcasts on Illinois history to be added to the site. They were involved in the first set of ten podcasts, providing the material for the five from Peoria.

At the heart of the ATLAS project are digital images of historic people, places, documents and objects. The images are combined with audio descriptions and placed on a map of Illinois to produce an engaging new interactive learning model for libraries and their customers. The project began with ten short high-quality podcasts about nineteenth century Illinois and famous women from the first hundred years of statehood. Produced in association with LearningTimes, each podcast spotlights a specific person or topic area. ATLAS visitors are able to mouse over a city in Illinois and select a story of interest, featuring engaging commentary and information. A searchable database allows users to search sound files, narratives and photographs. The programs may be enjoyed right from the ATLAS site, or downloaded to a portable audio player."

The site includes an Add Your Podcast component for those wishing to participate in the building of more online history about Illinois and its people.

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