As a young man during the 1880s, Theodore Roosevelt ranched and hunted in the area around Medora, North Dakota. He had come west to experience the robust, vigorous life the frontier required of a man. Later in life Roosevelt stated, “I would never have become president if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota.”
Situated on the edge of Roosevelt’s beloved Badlands, Dickinson State University has launched an ambitious initiative to promote the study of Theodore Roosevelt. The Theodore Roosevelt Center (TR Center) is developing an extensive digital library of Roosevelt materials. We are digitizing letters, cartoons, photographs, diary entries, scrapbooks, and other documents, and making them available online. We will also provide rich contextual materials to accompany the collection, creating new pathways for doing historical research.
In partnership with the Library of Congress and the National Park Service, the TR Center has already obtained more than a half million scanned images. Center staff, interns, and trained volunteers are working both in Dickinson and remotely to catalog these materials with descriptive subject terms and titles. Once cataloging is complete, the items will be searchable and accessible to scholars and school children, Roosevelt buffs and interested citizens, undergraduate students and Internet surfers. (A training session for new cataloging volunteers will be held in September. If interested, please contact Digital Library Coordinator and Archivist Krystal Thomas at 701-483-2003 or here.)
In this blog, we will share discoveries from the Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library and tell you more about our work. Center staff will post entries relating to TR history and scholarship, the annual TR symposium held at DSU, and other events and developments. Staff members who may contribute include the following:
Clay S. Jenkinson, Theodore Roosevelt Humanities Scholar, guides the development of the Center’s public and scholarly humanities work. Clay develops partnerships with significant TR repositories and sites and moderates the annual symposium.
Krystal Thomas, Library Coordinator and Archivist, oversees the standards for the digital library and coordinates with contributing organizations to manage additions of new TR materials for the Center’s archive.
Grant Carlson, Library Assistant, catalogs acquired materials in the digital library and coordinates the volunteers working on the collection.
Sharon Kilzer, Project Manager, manages the Center’s business activities, public and educational outreach, and relationships with other TR-related entities.
We hope you enjoy our posts and we look forward to reading your comments.