In the Early Kansas Imprint Scanners (EKIS) workshop, volunteers use scanners to make electronic copies of materials such as books and photographs, proof any text, and then add web designs to include these works in the Kansas Collection. Here's a look at what the volunteers are up to, behind the scenes:
More recognition from the Encyclopedia Britannica, the
Andreas (Cutler's) History of the State of Kansas, the
Andreas (Cutler's) History of the State of Nebraska,
Orphan Trains of Kansas,
and EKIS projects in progress
Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Connie Dipasquale
Notes from around EKIS
In the last issue of Voices, we reported that the Encyclopedia Britannica had started an Internet Guide and reviewed 65,000 websites for possible inclusion in their guide. KanColl was one of the only 1% of these which were rated with two stars, as "Exceptional." Since then, the Encycopledia has revised their site, calling it "eBlast" and using a five-star rating system for 125,000 reviewed websites. In this latest review, KanColl has been awarded four stars. In addition, a number of individual selections received one and two star ratings, including Connie DiPasquale's "Orphan Trains" and Dick Taylor's "Summerfield" (both two stars).....
Connie DiPasquale, contributor and curator of our "Orphan Trains of Kansas" gallery, is keeping very busy! The Topeka Genealogical Society has invited her to speak at their March meeting, and to do a mini-seminar at their state conference in April. The Kansas State Historical Society has also asked Connie to write an article for their spring publication......
Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Connie Dipasquale
The work Connie Dipasquale has done with "Orphan Trains of Kansas" has touched many people -- orphan train rider descendants, children and young people learning about the orphan train movement, and so many more. As we have gotten to know Connie, we've found that she is a warm, generous person who is never too busy to answer any request from our readers, a tireless worker, and a thoughtful and always cheerful friend. It is our great pleasure to introduce Connie to you -- unless, of course, you're one of the many people who have written and gotten to know her through "Orphan Trains of Kansas." Then you already know! For those of you who don't know her yet, Connie writes:
"I'm a native Topekan (Kansas, that is). Born ... well, let's just say I spent my early years watching Whizzo on TV (other native Topekans will know what time period I'm talking about ).
"During the weekday, I'm a 'mild-mannered university secretary'; and during my time off (when I'm not pursuing Orphan Train information, playing with my 2 dogs, scouring the local antique malls and flea markets, or reading a book) I help my husband with his business... promoting dirt-bike (motorcycle) races. We promote and put on several races each year, and also ride dirt-bikes recreationally ourselves.
"I became involved in Orphan Train research quite by accident. My dad came home from a doctor's appointment one day and handed me a copy of the Smithsonian magazine that had an article on the orphan trains in it. His comment to me was 'You might find this interesting since your grandmother was on an orphan train.' Needless to say, I was fascinated! After quizzing mom and dad about her (unfortunately, they didn't know much about g-ma's [grandma's] early days), I was then faced with the difficult task of where to turn for additional information. About this same time, a slow trickle of information on this subject was making its way out to the public. There were researchers in Nebraska and Missouri who were getting an occasional notice in the newspapers, and the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America (OTHSA, which was in its infancy) was also making the papers. I joined OTHSA, and began sending out letters in search of g-ma's 'roots'. Slowly, veeeeery slooooooowly, pieces of the puzzle would come back to me. A few years later, The Kansas Orphan Train Reunion Group was formed with the intention of holding an annual Kansas reunion for Orphan Train Riders (and their descendents) who came to Kansas. Naturally I went! And got involved! And I served two years as Secretary to the Kansas group.
"About the time my tenure as Secretary was ending, I found myself becoming 'better acquainted' with the Internet and the possibilities it offered in genealogical research. So, I started 'surfing'. But no matter where I looked on the internet, there just wasn't OT information anywhere to be found. I'd send out electronic queries wherever I thought there might be a connection (surname search pages, orphan registries, etc.) but generally I found myself educating everyone else about the orphan trains and their history, rather than getting answers to my own queries. Then, one day during another 'surfing' session, I came across 'The Kansas Collection' and all its wonderful stories. On a whim, I fired off an e-mail to them asking if they would be interested in a story about an Orphan Train Rider that had come to Kansas. I received a very enthusiastic YES! This was quickly followed by an inquiry as to whether I would be interested in helping create a 'Gallery' of Orphan Train information. Now it was my turn to respond with an enthusiastic YES!
"So, I started pulling together information, stories, lists, etc. about Orphan Trains in Kansas and sent them off to Susan Stafford. She took this information, worked some of her wonderful technological computer 'magic', and the Orphan Trains in Kansas gallery was born."
-- Connie DiPasquale
NOTE: Connie continues to provide information to the "Orphan Trains" Gallery, which is one of the most-visited areas in KanColl. The Encyclopedia Britannica's Internet Guide ("eBlast"), gave a separate entry and rating of two stars to "Orphan Trains of Kansas," in addition to its review of KanColl. She has been contacted by movie and television producers for information on orphan trains, young people preparing presentations for National History Day (several have advanced far in the competition), and the Kansas State Historical Society for an article on orphan trains for their magazine. Her work on the orphan train movement and the Gallery have stretched far beyond the borders of Kansas, and we thank her for her lasting contributions to this area of history, and to the lives of the people she has touched. ~Editor.