Have you ever wanted to be a small part of something really big? I have a great opportunity for you! I’m working with a group of people to explore the idea of a community-based history project to celebrate the Missouri bicentennial (August 10, 2021). Our idea is to pilot the concept now so that it can be copied throughout the state in 2021.
Why community-based history as a way to celebrate the bicentennial? There are many reasons! First, a project like this allows many people to contribute and participate. Second, it encourages the collection of stories from the past, so they can be preserved and passed to future generations. Third, a project like this can provide value without shackling future generations with a costly maintenance obligation (like what might happen with a monument or statue).
Some of you might remember my previous blog post about Alexander Doniphan. Working in conjunction with The Story Center at Woodneath Library Center and the Alexander Doniphan Committee, we are going to create a community-based history about Alexander Doniphan. The goal of the project is to collect papers to create an anthology that chronicles the life, times, and influence of Alexander William Doniphan (1808-1887). Submissions will be included in one of the following three categories.
- Traditional histories of important aspects of Doniphan’s life
- Social history that depicts life in the time of Alexander Doniphan
- Essays that illustrate Doniphan’s influence today or how his influence has lasting significance for today’s Missourians
The final project will consist of at least 10 submissions and will be published by the Woodneath Press. Copyright will be filed with the Library of Congress.
Our call for papers opened this week and runs through December 31, 2019. If you’re interested in seeing the full submission guidelines, you can view them here. Please feel free to contact me about this project. I hope you’ll join us in developing this unique project that will be a great addition to Missouri’s birthday celebration and for years to come.
Steven V. Potter
MCPL Director & CEO