Fondly, Pennsylvania

Greenfield Digital Project Launched

Wednesday, 4/3/13

Drum roll, please . . . the Greenfield Digital Project has made its official debut! Please take a minute to check it out:

Closed for Business: The Story of Bankers Trust Company during the Great Depression
hsp.org/bankers-trust

As you may recall, we've spent the last two and a half years developing a new web resource to tell the story of the 1930 failure of Bankers Trust Company, the first large bank to fail in Philadelphia during the Great Depression. The new web site includes:

* 320 primary source documents, including documents about the bank's operation, letters from depositors desperate to get access to their funds after the bank's failure, and newspaper clippings about the aftermath of the bank's failure;

* biographies of some of the people and organizations highlighted in the documents;

* contextual essays about the history of Bankers Trust Company, the Great Depression in Philadelphia, and the 1930s banking crisis in Philadelphia; and

* an educators page with ideas about how to use the resource in the classroom.

 

Image of home page of Greenfield Digital Project

A screen grab from "Closed for Business." Check it out at hsp.org/bankers-trust.

Thanks to all of our text encoding work, users can search and access the primary source documents, biographies, and other annotation in multiple ways. For instance, users can view the full list of documents in chronological order, search documents by keyword or date, or filter documents by genre (i.e. whether a document is correspondence or a newspaper clipping), creator name or recipient name.

Each primary source document includes a facsimile of the original (on the left), alongside a transcription of the text (on the right).

Image of Greenfield document and transcription

Clicking on the document facsimile opens up a viewer that allows users to zoom in further on the image.

Users can also click on linked text within the transcriptions to learn more about people and organizations mentioned in the documents, as well as see what other documents mention those entities. So for instance, you can quickly see which documents mention Moses Annenberg, the owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1936 to 1942, by clicking through to his biography page (the documents are all listed at the bottom). Some documents also include footnotes, which provide more historical context for readers.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to explore the new site, which was part of a larger effort funded by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation to draw attention to HSP's 20th-century collections.

And I hope you'll continue to follow our progress as we turn our attention to HSP's newest digital history effort: the William Still Digital History Project.

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