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November 3, 2009

Visions and Voices to celebrate fifth anniversary

TERRE HAUTE — In five years, Wabash Valley Visions and Voices has grown in ways its organizers did not anticipate.

Now, they want to celebrate.

From 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, organizers will celebrate the digital memory project’s fifth anniversary with re-enactments, oral history, music and cake. The free event is in Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library’s Special Events Area.

Activities during the celebration include presentations on “Historic Native American Villages of the Middle Wabash River Valley” and “A Memorial Worth Keeping.” Additional segments will feature “Songs of Indiana,” excerpts from an oral history interview on “The Lost Creek Settlement” and selected scenes from “On the Banks of the Wabash, a history living program.”

There is entertainment for everyone during the celebration, said Cinda May, project coordinator and Indiana State University assistant librarian.

The digital library’s archives are equally entertaining.

“The project never ceases to amaze me with its depth and breadth, the partners and the people who support and want to be a part of this project,” she said.

After being established in April 2004, the digital memory project had its coming out party in 2005 when it reached 1,000 images collected. Now after five years, more than 59,000 images contributed by 24 partners are organized into 36 collections that reside in the database.

“The mission is to provide access to the history and cultural heritage of the Wabash Valley and preserve images and documents in digital format,” May explained.

Since its beginning, project members have seen it grow to include new areas they hadn’t considered.

“We started out thinking of it as digital images,” May said. “We’ve ended up with oral history and documents.”

Some of the oral history is in “Pieces of Our Lives,” a folk art collection project, provided by the Clinton Public Library. The collection captures the tales of people who play the accordion, make buttons and tat lace.

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