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March 17, 2011

In the Works: A Digital Encyclopedia of Minnesota History

Filed under: Authors, History, MHS press — hartmanel @ 4:34 pm

Last time you had a quick question—about multivitamins or anti-virus software or Kafka—where did you look for the answer? Odds are you pulled up Wikipedia or your favorite search engine.

The Web has become the place to get a question answered quickly or a head start on research.

(In January 2011, 153.6 million unique U.S. people visited Google using PCs or laptops from home and work, according to The Nielsen Company. Wikipedia saw 65.7 million unique visitors.)

That’s why MHS Press is creating a digital encyclopedia of Minnesota history in partnership with other divisions and departments at the Minnesota Historical Society. It’s a way to share relevant, reliable information about Minnesota where students, teachers, researchers, and others are looking to find it—online.

We launched the project in February 2010 with support from the state’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Now we’re creating content and building a website prototype, slated to launch this summer.

MHS Press authors including Annette Atkins, Rhoda Gilman, Larry Millett, and Thomas Peacock have signed on to contribute. We’re also writing encyclopedia entries in-house, taking advantage of the rich resources housed at the Minnesota History Center, from historic photos and maps to back issues of Minnesota History magazine.

You can help us make important decisions about the direction of the encyclopedia project by taking this quick, five-question survey:

Tell us what you think, and we’ll keep you posted on our progress!

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