Kent State Ashtabula Digital Commons Collection Showcases Ohio Wine Industry
A team at Kent State University at Ashtabula has started a Digital Commons collection to showcase the Ohio wine industry.
Amy Thomas, the library director at Kent State Ashtabula; Danielle Weiser-Cline, advisor and recruiter for Kent State Ashtabula’s wine degree program; and Lori Lee, senior special assistant of academic affairs, began collecting materials from Ohio’s winemakers before the site went live last summer.
The public site chronicles Ohio’s long-standing tradition of enology, the study of wine and winemaking, which has boosted it into the top 10 wine-producing states.
“It’s the digital story of the Ohio wine industry told through photos, letters and interviews,” Ms. Thomas says.
Elizabeth Richardson, Kent State associate professor and manager for University Libraries’ Document Delivery and Institutional Repository, approached Ms. Thomas about creating an Ohio wine collection on Digital Commons, an online space of information and knowledge resources created and owned or shared by Kent State’s academic community.
“Ashtabula is the only campus in Ohio that offers an associate degree in both winemaking and grape growing,” Ms. Thomas says. “It makes sense for our campus to promote this collection. We have the connections with wine leaders, winemakers and wine industry groups, and this collection provides them with a unique way to tell their story.”
The project has given the team the opportunity to travel the state to collect stories and memorabilia from winemakers all over Ohio.
“We have designed it so that there’s interesting commentary and stories to accompany the photos and other materials in the collection,” Ms. Thomas says. “We have also recently added winemaker interviews to the Digital Commons that focus on the history of the industry and technical videos created by our students on the winemaking process.”
Ms. Weiser-Cline says that the winemakers they have met with have been excited about the process and have been very willing to share personal items and tell their individual stories.
“It has really helped create wonderful relationships for us and our students,” Ms. Weiser-Cline says. “This project has opened doors for some of our students to start working with these winemakers.”
The team hopes that they will be able to continue to showcase the wineries and winemakers, and help visitors of the site understand the unique stories they have to tell.
For more information about the Digital Commons Ohio Wine Collections, visit http://digitalcommons.kent.edu/wine.