Friday, July 31, 2009
History Channel Awards Grant to John Kvach and Community Partners
Dr. John Kvach recently learned that that the History Channel has awarded him
and his community partners a grant to pursue a project studying local participation in the Civil War.
The purpose of the grant is to enable the creation of an online historical resource and exhibit area that preserves the public and private memories of Civil War-era individuals who lived in Madison County, Alabama, between 1861 and 1865. Tenth grade students from Huntsville High School (HHS), in conjunction with upper-level undergraduate and graduate history students from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), will conduct primary source research in the Special Collections
Department of the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library.
This research will be used to create a website from which the public can read and explore period documents such as diaries, letters, and photographs; explore their community's involvement in the Civil War; and challenge individuals to adopt, research, and post their findings on a Civil War-era individual from Madison County. This project will be both the intellectual foundation and public portal for Madison County's planned commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War that begins in 2011.
As part of its overall mission to preserve and engage local history, the Huntsville/Madison County Historical Society (HMCHS) will oversee the project. Professional historians and archivists will guide students in the preservation, interpretation, and digitization of these records during the 2009-2010 school year. At the end of the school year, a week-long summer institute, sponsored by the UAH and HMCHS, will allow students to bring their individual projects together and collectively create an online resource dedicated to the preservation of local Civil War history within the broader context of state, regional, and national histories.
The project is an important step in the development of the UAH Huntsville History Department's Public History offerings, and will involve UAH history students and several community organizations, including Huntsville High School, the Huntsville/Madison County istorical Society, the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library, and the Railroad Depot Museum.
Congratulations to Dr. Kvach and the organizations that partnered with him!