North Central College - Naperville, IL

Student is dedicated to making College history accessible

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History of North Central College is at your fingertips and accessible from your computer at historypin.com, thanks to the efforts of senior Ray Treonis.

Some 150 photos and their descriptions of campus sites and student life have been posted or pinned to historypin.com, an online community where everyone has the opportunity to view, learn from, add to, share and discuss the history presented on the site. 

In September 2011, Ann Durkin Keating, Dr. C. Frederick Toenniges Professor of History, invited Treonis, a Naperville resident and history/social science major with a minor in interactive media studies, to join this project. He volunteered his time and completed the project in time for the College’s Sesquicentennial Homecoming celebration in November.

“I think Dr. Keating asked me to help because of my interactive media interests. I have a passion to find ways to get people engaged with history, to make it more accessible and enjoyable and compatible with the ways people learn today,” Treonis says.

This online project was an ideal fit for Treonis; he had the opportunity to research historical archives and make the information accessible to a worldwide community. To begin, he connected with Archivist Kimberly Butler to identify important photos about the College throughout its 150 years. “I loaded photos of Old Main, Goldspohn Hall and Carnegie Hall at first, then more photos and added content and dates later. Dr. Keating provided much of the content, which she had researched for the College’s history book [“North Central College: 150 Years. A Promising Start.”],” he says.

All total, some 150 photos were added. Buildings that don’t exist today and others that aren’t part of the College’s footprint had to be researched and addresses identified.

“Ray really took the lead and used information we uncovered for the 150th book in a different way that makes this connection between history and geography electronically,” Keating says. “He’s provided a model I hope more history students will follow, to see that their work doesn’t have to end with written papers. It can go on in electronic form and be available way beyond our classrooms.”

The content, Treonis says, is accessible to everyone and is a community, much like Facebook. It’s especially useful for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the College, who can use the content for their own interests and projects, and alumni can comment to or add their own photos or content.

A good place to start at historypin.com is to select “Explore the map,” which takes you to a map, powered by Google. In the box that says “Search by place,” add city and state to narrow your map location. You can further define your search by address, date or title, such as North Central College and Old Main. From the next page, select the map pin you want and keep selecting pins to discover various layers of information, from photos, stories, nearby pins and more.

In order to add photos or comment, you may need to set up a Google account; the site will guide you in the process. You can also view a video introduction to the site and follow blog.historypin.com; North Central College is featured in the Feb. 1, 2012, blog entry.

03-09-2012