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Creating This Project
Briscoe Center for American History
Purchase Photos
Usage Statement
Conservation Project:
Treatment of the William F. Hale letter
to his brother Philip S. Hale
My original concept for this project was to create an online resource of primary source material from the Center for American History's vast holdings related to Texas history. By narrowing my focus to the 1820–1845 period beginning with Anglo-American colonization and ending with annexation, I could draw content from the extensive exhibit documentation going back to the early 1980s, when the Center was named the Barker Texas History Center. The online resource would include material that had been featured in other Center Web sites and in previously-mounted, more traditional exhibits. To dust off old efforts, update them, and then present them in a new and dynamic way seemed like a worthy endeavor.

I began calling the end product an "online resource" after I reasoned that this wasn't just an exhibit, not in the traditional sense. It would be a active site with the exciting possibility of updating, rotating, and changing the content frequently. Unlike a conventional exhibit, where only one portion of a document, usually the most salient, prominent, or famous portion, may be displayed at any given time, the online environment can feature an entire document that allows researchers to review the information and make their own decisions about the salient points. Moreover, it could offer many times more people the opportunity to view and use the featured archival material than having the items available for research in our reading room only. The Web space could be a simulated reading room, the interaction with the material virtual, and the end result would be increased access to the material.

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