Historical Marker Database
Service Project

 

Service Project Description

The Historical Marker Database offers Service Project opportunities in History, Photography, Research, Maps and Computer skills for Boy Scout, Girl Scout, 4-H, and other youth organizations. The online database at www.hmdb.org is designed for automatic uploading of photographs, text, and location information and the Editor vets all entries before the submission is published.

The project. Scour your town and countryside for historical markers. When you find one, take pictures and write down location information following the guidelines at www.hmdb.org/guidelines.asp. Back home or at the library, upload photos and information into the database. Learn from each submission by seeing what the Editor does with your information to create the final published marker entry. Print out the published entry, which credits your name and town, to create a log of your accomplishments.

It has been my experience that as each correspondent submits additional entries, they get better and better until they reach the point where the Editor can publish the entry with little or no modification.

Note: Historical markers are not just the familiar roadside markers, but any permanent outdoor marker that states one or more fact other than names and dates.

Skills to be learned:
· Photography skills: Exposure settings and framing, and perhaps digital cropping and adjusting, to create a clear, visually pleasing photograph. Solve for shadows falling on subject or back light creating flares and tricking the camera's automatic exposure on a sunny day. You can't ask the marker to move to a better spot! You have to work with what you have or come back another time.
· Historical skills: Read the information on the marker to see what other photographs would illustrate the history told on the marker
· Mapping skills: Describe where the marker is located in relation to streets, route numbers, and other landmarks, as well town, county, and zip code location. Learn latitude and longitude notation and ways to obtain them either from GPS devices or by looking up on a map.
· Research the history told on the marker, and perhaps even the history of the marker itself if it is old. Find online information that expands on what the marker says and add links to your database entry. Visit your historical society to dig up more facts.
· Optionally when necessary, clarify what the marker is saying in your own words in the database entry. Some markers are old and assume all readers know things that may not be common knowledge any more. You can clarify this by stating their full name and rank.
· Interact with the Editor who will work with you to publish the most factual, readable, and well-formatted entry possible.
Benefit to others. Create a permanent online record of local history for the benefit of researchers and enthusiasts located anywhere in the world.

ContributorJ. J. Prats

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Date Entered24-Jan-2007

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