Historical Society continues to boost web presence
The Milwaukee County Historical Society has put a new shine on its historic building – built as the Second Ward Savings Bank – in recent years.
But the respected institution, which houses an impressive collection of Milwaukee documents, photographs and items on-site and in its warehouse, has also given its web presence a new luster.
The latest improvement is a new blog called MKE Memoirs.
It was not long ago that MCHS' website was a single, non-interactive page with an email address shared by many, if not all, staffers. Nowadays, the museum – which also manages the Trimborn Farm, Jeremiah Curtin House, Lowell Damon House, and Kilbourntown House historic sites – boasts a good site at milwaukeehistory.net.
In 2010, then-curator of collections Mike Reuter inaugurated a series of online exhibitions through the site.
"MKE Memoirs is meant to provide its followers with engaging stories we find while perusing our extensive collection of artifacts and archives," writes MCHS collections assistant Danny Benson on the site.
"Our staff and interns will post entries based around artifacts in our collection and documents and photos in our archives that best exemplify life in Milwaukee County throughout our storied history."
In addition to posts about Milwaukee history, the WordPress-hosted site includes links to museum exhibitions, MCHS' Twitter feed and Facebook page, and MCHS contact information.
Among the first posts are a couple touting the society's book sale this past December, alongside posts about The Milwaukee Women's Exchange, Milwaukee stereoscope images, the history of the Second Ward Savings Bank and Milwaukee business Smartwear Emma Lange.
The three latest posts focus on Black History Month subjects, including an interesting profile of Ezekiel Gillespie, who fought for the right to vote, a look at the MCHS' collection of photographs of Milwaukee's African-American community and a really interesting piece called "How a Milwaukee Opera House Kick Started the Fight for Civil Rights."
To date most of the posts have been the work of Benson, but the collections assistant said in an email that the goal is to have a broader group of contributors chipping in on the blog.
"We hope to update the site frequently with stories from our curators, archivists and interns, as well as announcements for upcoming events," said Benson.
But, he writes, the blog isn't meant to only speak to readers, but also to hear back from them.
"The comment section is designed to encourage thought-provoking responses to our contributor's posts. We hope to provide a way for followers to share their own unique stories about Milwaukee County history in a friendly environment...We encourage all followers to share facts, trivia, and stories about anything related to Milwaukee County's history."
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