Stories from Archives Find New Audiences OnlinePosted by admin on 3/22/11 • Categorized as Spring 2011
“Fridays with Fred,” an online series of historical snapshots, has focused on everything from Beloit’s first basketball team in 1904, to tales of winter tomfoolery on campus, to a profile of Velma Bell’30 (at right), one of Beloit’s remarkable African American students and the first to be inducted into the college’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
Burwell uses archival photographs and primary texts in every article, drawing from a wealth of information in college archives. “I quote pretty heavily,” he says. “It’s a richer exposure for the reader to hear a voice from the past.”
Director of Communications and Marketing Jason Hughes proposed the idea of an online archives series last year. Burwell liked the concept and started working on the project in August. A history buff and a deft writer, Burwell says topics for the weekly articles come to him naturally while he’s going about his work in Archives. “It’s pretty much whatever strikes my fancy,” he says of the subject matter.
Installments of “Fridays with Fred” are posted to the Terrarium, the college’s internal news webpage for faculty, students, and staff, which debuted last fall. The series stands out as a Terrarium favorite, drawing a large audience week after week.
“It’s the most popular feature by far,” says Lynn Vollbrecht’06, the Terrarium content manager. “People are always commenting on it, from the college president to students, and even prospective students who haven’t matriculated yet.”
Although the Terrarium targets a campus readership, it is easily available to off-campus readers through the college website. Click on “The Terrarium” tab at the top of the homepage (www.beloit.edu). Stories from the Archives lead the page every Friday. To read past “Fridays with Fred” stories, go to the Terrarium main page and click on the box called “Into the Vault.”