Voinovich Web Archive Open for Scholarly Use

On November 15, 2012, an Ohio-based trio collaboratively launched the web archive of The Voinovich Collections, the first phase of materials from Senator George V. Voinovich’s senatorial and gubernatorial collections. Ohio University Libraries is home to these two collections.

Dean Scott Seaman, Ohio University Libraries, welcomes guests to the unveiling of the web archive of The Voinovich Collections on November 15, 2012. (Photo by Kate Munsch/Ohio University Libraries)

Made possible by an Ohio University 1804 grant, the Ohio University Libraries and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs partnered with the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities and the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University to digitally archive Voinovich’s materials for students, faculty and scholars to utilize in their research endeavors.

“This is a first step in bringing together selections from the three archival collections into an integrated and searchable scholarly website available to scholars, students, and openly available to the public,” said Dean Scott Seaman, Ohio University Libraries. “It will provide users with the opportunity to explore exhibits comprised of material from the collections, view multimedia pieces, and learn about George Voinovich’s impressive 45-year career in public service.”

(Center) Mark Souther, co-director of the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University, speaks with Senator George V. Voinovich and Dean Scott Seaman, Ohio University Libraries, at the web archive’s launch event on November 15, 2012. (Photo by Kate Munsch/Ohio University Libraries)

“The Voinovich School is pleased to have participated in such a historic and collaborative project,” said Director Mark Weinberg, Ohio University’s Voinovich School. “Senator Voinovich dedicated his career to public service and the greater good. We are now honored to bring that career to the public at large with modern technology.”

The emergence of this web archive paves the way for advanced practices in digital humanities. The Voinovich web archive represents a one-of-a-kind digital archive. It has high teaching and learning capabilities, which are ideal for students, faculty and researchers, according to Mark Souther, co-director of the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University.

“Imagine, if you will, students using the growing digital collections in the Voinovich archive to create their own course projects that examine Cleveland, Ohio, or United States history,” Souther said. “The beauty of this website is that all the archived items can be re-used and re-conceptualized infinitely without altering the original items themselves.”

The developers paid heavy attention to detail in creating this website. With an intuitive search feature and a well-tailored layout, researchers can navigate through the website with ease.

“The exhibit marries an interpretive narrative with well-chosen photographs and other documents from the collections,” Souther said.

The web archive is now up and running and the three Ohio-based collaborators invite students, faculty and scholars to utilize these unique resources.

“The most successful part of this project thus far has been everyone’s ability to work together and communicate effectively,” said Melanie Furey, research project coordinator to Senator Voinovich and project manager.

The next steps are to continue working with the new campaign collections at Ohio University “to get them digitized and into the classroom,” said Furey.

Be sure to look for the next phase of materials coming from the Voinovich Collections in the future.