Bringing Emerson’s History to Life

Bob Fleming and Christina Zamon (Iwasaki Library) celebrate the launch of ECHO on October 8.

Bob Fleming and Christina Zamon (Iwasaki Library) celebrate the launch of ECHO on October 8.

ECHO Timeline Launches 

Did you know that Emerson College was founded by Charles W. Emerson, a Unitarian minister from Vermont in 1880? Or that Athletics began at Emerson with the Recreation Club’s coordination of Intramural Volleyball in 1931? Or that WERS began broadcasting in 1949? Since its founding in 1880, Emerson College has had a rich history that is now documented in a timeline on the web at http://emersonhistory.omeka.net/. Categories of the timeline include academics, athletics, buildings, presidents, and students.

Christina Zamon (Iwasaki Library) noted that her favorite timeline “firsts” are Emerson’s first international student in 1911 and the Robbins Clinic opening (with video) from 1953. Zamon emphasized that the project is ongoing with new items added frequently, and that people are invited to contribute content to the timeline. “It is simply a wonderful way to learn new things about the Emerson experience,” she said.

Emerson bought the Majestic Theatre in 1983.

Emerson bought the Majestic Theatre in 1983.

The Emerson College History Online (ECHO) project was inspired by the fact that the College is famous for its performing arts and media programs. In 2014, when the Engagement Lab’s Emerson UnCommon game started, the Iwasaki Library proposed creating an interactive, media-rich version of the College’s history and making it available online. The proposal won a prize, and the timeline was born. The prize funded a student worker to conduct content research and user-testing focus groups and also funded a launch party for students, which was held in the Library’s CoLab on October 8.

There is much to learn about Emerson’s history by browsing the timeline. So when was the first issue of the Berkeley Beacon published? Test your knowledge by looking it up!

By Jill Davidson (Academic Affairs)

First issue of the Berkeley Beacon

First issue of the Berkeley Beacon

 

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