Colorado Humanities initiated development of an online resource, Colorado Encyclopedia, with the help of a competitive 2013 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The project’s working group, comprising experts from many organizations, including Colorado Humanities, Colorado State University Library (CSU), Center of the American West, and University Press of Colorado, is gathering and preparing multi-layered content developed through a collaborative, statewide effort.
At least 500 entries about 'all things Colorado,' including short essays and e-resources on each of the state’s 64 counties, are planned for the Encyclopedia’s live launch activities, which will take place in at least five regions of the state in 2016. Earlier this spring, Colorado Humanities applied for a State Historical Fund grant through History Colorado to help assure that the project will make historic sites more accessible to the public.
Colorado Humanities received notice of the $199,639 award in August.
Colorado Encyclopedia is designed for residents and visitors, students, teachers, researchers, educators and others as an interactive, one-stop source of dependable, professional and scholarly articles, data and other information. The intent of the Encyclopedia team is to provide a comprehensive and accessible resource for people of all ages, using easy yet state-of-the-art technology for optimum public engagement. 25% of the main essays and articles will be leveled for K-12 students and employ educational features aligned with multi-tiered and grade-specific Colorado Academic Standards.
Content will be organized around six themes emphasizing the inter-relatedness of people, places and events: origins, diversity, community, ecology, political economy, and place. Processes and procedures will be set in place to enable updating of existing content and adding new content suggested by its various advisors and online readers. The State Historical Fund grant will help the Encyclopedia connect users to primary sources digitized by Colorado’s various cultural heritage institutions and provide links to the websites of historic sites and tourist destinations.
“The ‘Making Historic Sites Accessible’ project will enhance the Encyclopedia significantly by adding 200 entries on the state’s historic and archaeological sites,” said Colorado Encyclopedia Editor in Chief William Wei, who is a professor of history at the University of Colorado and Colorado Humanities’ board chair. “Equally important, 60 teacher-produced annotated resource sets on select sites will make the online reference work immediately useful to educators and students,” said Wei.
“Colorado Encyclopedia will be an important and unique resource for easily accessible information about Colorado for students, teachers, and also for business people, individuals looking to relocate, government officials, and people visiting the state,” said Colorado Humanities Executive Director Margaret A. Coval. “We’re very excited about the Encyclopedia and the collaborative nature of its development. We’re confident it will continue to receive the support it needs and deserves.”
About Colorado Humanities: Colorado Humanities, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nationally affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, Letters About Literature, Motheread, Inc., River of Words and the Smithsonian Institution, is the only Colorado organization exclusively dedicated to support humanities education for adults and children statewide. Based in Greenwood Village, Colorado Humanities designs and implements more than a dozen educational programs, and works with 350 local program partners throughout the state to tailor the programs to community needs.
The organization’s goals are to improve education, strengthen cultural institutions and enrich community life by providing school-based and community-based humanities education programs. To learn more, contact the office at (303) 894-7951, or visit coloradohumanities.org.
About the State Historical Fund: The State Historical Fund was created by the 1990 constitutional amendment directing that a portion of Colorado’s gaming tax revenues be used for historic preservation throughout the state. Funds are distributed through a competitive process and all projects must demonstrate strong public benefit and community support. Grants vary in size, from a few hundred dollars to more than $200,000. The State Historical Fund assists in a wide variety of preservation projects including designation and interpretation of historic places, education and training programs, restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings, architectural assessments, archaeological excavations, and preservation planning studies. 3,885 grants have been awarded, with a total amount of $254,155,509 in grant funds.