10/26/10 290 W - + 12 - 3 Digital Media Collections

Some years ago, we meaning me created a Raleigh Fire Department Virtual Museum web site. The concept was simple, and modeled on similar sites. Just a chronological, page-by-page presentation of old photos, historic documents, and even photographed artifacts. Nothing fancy, and not updated with any regular frequency. The last "exhibit" is dated 2006, a montage of training tower construction photos. Memo to self: time for an update!

Today, virtual museums-- or better called digital media collections-- are looking better than ever. Web pages and user interfaces are in their second- and third-generations. Sites are cleaner, and functioning better. High-speed internet access is widely available, and pages and page content can load faster. This allows for larger and more robust collections. Audio and video content is also being increasingly integrated into web sites and digital collections. Social media integration is certainly next, if not already there.

All of which sets the stage for something Mrs. Blogger stumbled upon. As this Firehouse.com article relates, the 150-year history of the Indianapolis Fire Department is being presented through a newly expanded digital media collection from the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. The content includes over 1,000 photos, log books, audio clips, video clips, and three-dimensional objects.

How did they do it? The project was a partnership between the library, a university, a community foundation, and the Indianapolis Firefighters Museum. Read the article, and then visit the digital collection at http://digitallibrary.imcpl.org/ffm/.

As for digital media collections in North Carolina, here are a couple worth browsing, and all of which contain historic firefighting images:

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