Montgomery County resident Chelsey Jeffers is currently a graduate student, pursuing a masters of arts degree in history at the University of Illinois-Springfield, and is seeking help from her community. Jeffers is looking for people interested in collaborating on the History Harvest project, which will begin in mid October. The History Harvest is a digital project and learning initiative that aims to democratize history by asking community members to curate the exhibit through their personal submissions.
The University of Illinois-Springfield’s History Harvest will focus on the history of education in Illinois. Jeffers is asking for readers to submit images of items that represent historical education in Illinois, each submission should include a description of the item and how it relates to education in the state. Any item may be submitted, including letterman’s jackets, rings or even items that appear to have no connection but influenced an individual’s “life” education. The most critical component is the story attached to the item, which should detail the item’s significance to the individual and their education.
The submissions will be archived online and made public so that the material may be used for historical study, kindergarten through twelfth grade instruction, as well as general interest.
The History Harvest is a growing movement across the nation, that is helping to connect communities and universities through the practice of local history.
“In light of the pandemic, the university was opting to cancel this year’s public harvest for safety reasons. My graduate course, History and Digital Media, recognized that the History Harvest provides a much needed connection to the past for the general public and decided to approach the harvest in a different manner.”
Jeffers’ class requirement simply stated, was to collect items from friends and family, but she is taking the initiative to expand the project to include submissions from the community at large.
Those interested are asked to send submissions (photos and descriptions) to Jeffers by email at email@example.com. Include contact information as she may have follow up questions. Those without internet access are directed to contact Jeffers at 217-313-6656.