University Libraries highlights Athens County’s past with W.E. Peters collection exhibit

Kenneth Palmer

Ohio College Libraries is wanting into the past and showcasing the functions of William Edward Peters, a civil engineer, land surveyor, law firm, author and genealogist who posted quite a few functions about the point out of Ohio and Athens County. In the W.E. Peters Papers archival assortment, Peters’ surveying and drafting skills are highlighted with his photos and documentation of Southeast Ohio.

In the two a electronic and in-person format, the show, “Mapping the Historical Array Books of W. E. Peters: An Exploration of Athens County, Ohio Past and Present,” provokes the thought of seeking to doc background and making positive not to fail to remember or lose what things made use of to be. The bodily exhibit will get spot on Alden Library’s fifth ground from Feb. 6 to May perhaps 5 although the on the web show is available via Tale Maps

After shifting to Athens County in the 1880s, Peters dedicated his lifestyle to finding out and documenting the location, a pursuit which continued through the 1940s. The show showcases Peters’ nearby heritage investigation involved in the individual papers he donated to the Ohio University Libraries, which are now held in the Mahn Middle for Archives and Exclusive Collections.

An image from the W.E. Peters collection exhibit of a house that was reportedly a stop on the Underground Railroad
Even though most documentation of the Underground Railroad comes about in states north of the Ohio River, it operated in most states, both North and South. Peters’ notes that this property was reportedly a end on the Underground Railroad.

Erin Wilson, digital imagining specialist and lab manager for University Libraries, stated in an e mail that the in-person show shows web pages from Peters’ “Range Books” which are photographic scrapbooks that go in-depth about the county and document its exceptional elements.

“They [the Range Books] present a pretty critical document of Peters’ location and time, as quite a few of the web sites he frequented have been at chance of disappearing,” Wilson wrote. “Examples incorporate schoolhouses and other instances of vernacular architecture, ancient earthworks produced by Indigenous People and little household cemeteries.”

Areas talked about in the actual physical exhibit have QR codes that people can scan to see them in an interactive map that goes alongside with the exhibit. The on the web map can be applied to examine websites Peters documented in the 1930s and 1940s, even though the digital exhibit features more content material similar to Peters’ legacy.

“Thanks to the pretty focused efforts of university student staff members who assisted with the job, we’re enthusiastic to start the public map with the exhibit,” Wilson wrote. “It includes about 500 historical attributes in Athens County that were being documented by Peters and invitations customers to contribute more details, responses or their personal pictures. The map is compatible with mobile units so it can be used for on-web-site discipline exploration.”

Sarah Romer, a senior learning wildlife and conservation biology, is a single of the college student workforce helping with the exhibit and selection. As a electronic initiatives assistant, Romer has been working almost solely with the W.E. Peters Papers and has been geolocating functions from Peters’ Array Books.

“Peters’ 26 Vary Publications include pics of areas and objects that he thought experienced historic or cultural importance to the area, numerous of which had been disappearing in the fast transforming environment of the early – mid 1900s,” Romer wrote. “My career was to glimpse at the shots Peters took and track down in which they essentially ended up.”

With so substantially material and background shown for the two the in-person and on line show, it will surely be worthy of examining out.

“W. E. Peters actually beloved Athens County and the folks in it, so hopefully guests can get a perception of the man or woman driving all of this as perfectly,” Romer wrote.

For extra facts, take a look at the exhibition web site or make contact with Wilson at [email protected].

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