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Crowdsourcing Agricultural History: Announcing the Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive

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Photo. Paul Bardole improved his tractor by building a cab to protect himself from the elements, Rippey, Iowa, mid 1940s.

Paul Bardole improved his tractor by building a cab to protect himself from the elements.  Stories like Bardole’s will help the museum preserve the history of American agriculture.

Today, March 19th, 2013, the National Museum of American History launched a new online initiative that aims to crowdsource the past seventy years of American agricultural history. First announced in January in Nashville, the Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive is an online repository designed to collect and preserve the history of modern farming and ranching. Online visitors to the archive have the ability to submit their own personal stories about the transformation of American agriculture. On April 15th, 2013, the museum will unveil a public archive where visitors can explore the submitted stories.

Information gathered through the Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive will be used by the Smithsonian’s staff to help prepare new exhibitions like American Enterprise. Over the next few months, several entries will be featured on our the exhibition blog. Additionally, all accepted submissions will be preserved and made publicly available on the archive’s website, creating a new online database for students, researchers, and scholars. If you’d like to learn more about the archive, take a look at O Say Can You See’s interview with exhibition curator, Peter Liebhold, or head over to the archive’s homepage and submit your own story!

 

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