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Today in History

September 30
1870. One of the worst floods in history sweeps down the Shenandoah River, killing more than 40 Jefferson County residents and destroying much of the property along the river from Castleman's Ferry to Harpers Ferry.

Welcome to the West Virginia GeoExplorer Project!

The West Virginia GeoExplorer is an innovative geographically-based web resource for exploring the history, culture, and architecture of West Virginia. Jefferson County serves as the starting point for project efforts, which will later be expanded to encompass the rest of the state.
 
Using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, digital imaging, and the rich concentration of local primary historical materials, it is a freely-available resource for scholars, students, professionals, and laymen, with potential uses ranging from a digital archives of primary sources, to a research and educational tool, to an integral part of the community's planning and development process.
 

 
Graphic of WV GeoExplorer Introduction Video 
 
Click here to view the new WV GeoExplorer video. 

 

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What's New to WVGP!

Digital History - Sunday, September 25, 2016

In his article "What Historians Want from GIS" J. B. "Jack" Owens wrote, "An increasing number of historians, particularly those dealing with world history or the history of large geographic regions, are becoming interested in using geographic information systems for research and teaching."  WV GeoExplorer is certainly a valuable resource in digital history and much more. Take a moment and explore the site so you can become part of digital history.

 
Kickstarter Campaign - Monday, September 05, 2016

The West Virginia GeoExplorer Project plans to crowd fund its campaign this fall/winter. Please follow us on Facebook so that you can become a part of history as we work together to bring digital #history alive WestVirginia.

 
Visit our friends at WVU Libraries - Monday, September 05, 2016

WVU Libraries has an extensive collection on historic Storer College, so please visit them to view the collection. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu

 
Project History - Monday, September 05, 2016

The seed for the project was planted in the mid-1970's, when Bill Theriault got a Ph.D. in American Literature. Leaving academia with a diploma and a score of shoeboxes full of 4" by 6" index cards (the raw material for his dissertation), he had the urge to find a better way to collect, organize, and share what he had learned.

Moving to Jefferson County, West Virginia, in the early 1980s, he discovered an area that had a rich heritage and a wealth of historical information. Unfortunately, much of it was not accessible to people who wanted to research the county’s past. For the scholar who needed to be familiar with this topic (or at least some part of it), there was no detailed, extensive overview of primary and secondary sources for writing Jefferson County history. 

Perhaps this lack was the reason almost half a century had passed since anyone attempted a comprehensive history of Jefferson County. Or maybe it was the sheer magnitude of materials available and their dispersal throughout the nation. Or maybe it was the lack of adequate finding aids that might have put the researcher in touch with the resources.