Michael Newbury (Fletcher Proctor Professor of American History) and Daniel Houghton (Arts Technology Specialist) organized and led The Collinwood Fire, 1908, but we could never have completed it without many others mentioned below. We’re happy to hear thoughts and questions, or to have remote conferences with classes, schedules permitting. Feel free to contact us.
A team of students (and one alum) at Middlebury College worked long hours on the animated movie and offered many insights on the website as a whole. A strength of this project was the collaborativeCollinwood Spider Academy. Elise Biette drew this picture as we struggled through the early stages of the project. While the tragedy was, of course, no joke to anyone, we sometimes called on dark humor to address the sorrow and complexity of the work. work that no one working alone could have accomplished. Our animators and others who worked on the movie were: Maddie Dai, Elise Biette, Hosain Ghassemi, James Graham, Danilo Herrera (sound design), Chad Kahn, Katrina Moore, Jon Broome, Ali Salem, Sasha Schell, Sofy Maia and Justin Holmes.
Many colleagues, friends, and relatives commented on all or part of the project at varioius stages, giving us confidence in the work but also pointing out where it needed more attention. We owe thanks to Holly Allen, Megan James, Jason Mittell, Alicia Peaker, Mike Roy, Bill Koulopolos, Tim Spears, Jim Ralph, Andi Lloyd, Kathy Morse, Amy Morseman, Ellery Foutch, Renée Brown, Brad Chisholm, Cary Elza, Matt Lennon, and Ethan Murphy. Ildikó Santana and Bob Hajdu translated Hungarian newspapers for us. Ioana Uricaru translated Romanian. A grant from the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation and the Digital Liberal Arts Initiative at Middlebury College provided time and resources that made The Collinwood Fire, 1908 possible.
TaraMay Ayres, an expert on school safety and hygiene, wrote that five years after the Colilnwood disaster, “Children continue to be immured five hours a day in imposing firetraps.”ASBJ. Sept, 1913. p. 11. Martin, who teaches Social Studies at Middlebury Union High School, put together our “Teaching Resources” material and made a trial run with the site in her Junior-level American History Class. We hope that additional teachers and students will offer ideas for this part of the site.
Adam Franco, Steve Nelson, and others keep Middlebury’s IT infrastructure running and up-to-date. We couldn’t have finished the project without that.
Librarians at the Cleveland Public Library and the Western Reserve Historical Society were always skilled and generous during our research visits to their institutions. Ann Sindelar and Vicki Catozza at WRHS were especially helpful.
A robust online community of web developers contribute to forums and maintain blogs that helped immensely with the coding for this project. We frequently visited StackExchange and WordPress.org to go through comments. Tympanus.net developed code for slideshows and tooltips that we altered for our own purposes.
The animation was built using the free and open source tool Blender.
Images are credited in captions. On many occasions, we abbreviate the names of archives and titles (see below). Some images have been Photoshopped for clarity, legibility, or contrast against the white content-area of the website. Much of our material–old photographs and newspapers–already showed varying hues depending on the archive in which we found it. On occasion, we distorted or filtered full screen backgrounds and other decorative elements. We never, of course, added words, people, or objects to any of the visuals that we examine as evidence.
CHM: Chicago History Museum
CPL: Cleveland Public Library
CSU: Cleveland State University, Walter Leedy Postcard Collection
LOC: Library of Congress
MCNY: Museum of the City of New York
PC: Private Collection
TC: Teachers College Archive, Gottesman Library, Columbia University
UC: University of Chicago Archives
WRHS: Western Reserve Historical Society
Frequently Abbreviated Newspaper and Journal Titles:
ASBJ: American School Board Journal
CL: The Cleveland Leader
CN: The Cleveland News
CP: The Cleveland Press
PD: Cleveland Plain Dealer
CC: The Collinwood Citizen