My research has been put on ice. I should say, my research at the local archive has been delayed, twice, but I have been very active in exploring the local newspapers from the comfort of my apartment. This has allowed me to develop a working plan for my side of the website. I will provide five tabs, each focusing on an aspect of Asheville during the years 1914-1919. The five tabs are:
-An Interactive Map of the ‘Land of Sky’
-Escape! to Asheville
-How to be a Patriot in Asheville
-A Newspaper yearly scrapbook
The map will be tagged with significant locations, include a brief description of the landmark, and offer any links that may connect to other information found on the site.
The biography section will feature a collection of short narratives, highlighting some of the key players in Asheville during the Great War. Again, this section should connect with several other points within the site including the newspaper section and exhibit on public patriotism.
Escape! to Asheville is really an antithesis. Asheville enjoyed enormous prosperity during the war, especially in the early years and was a resort destination often used for an escape from the war, rather than a city with which to view normalities of wartime. I have already found many articles referring to our city as unique in its role as an oasis from the war in Europe. The local economy seemed to proper as well, evident in the many buildings that sprouted up during this gilded age. Also attracted to Asheville were the rich and famous, who used the ‘Land of Sky’ as the French countryside of the Americas, vacationing here in order to avoid those ravaged lands.
Because I am exploring the public side of Asheville, it only makes sense that I should inevitably run into wartime propaganda. And I did. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have found photograph collections that feature public displays of wartime presence from parades to demonstrations to collective efforts to help fuel the war machine. The amount of information is becoming overwhelming, which is why I have organized these categories.
Lastly, the newspaper scrapbooks will contain digital ‘clips’ I have collected from newspapers.com that related to Asheville’s experience during the Great War and the infuenza outbreak. Also, an album of wartime advertisements will be included in this section as they are numerous and illustrative.
Ashley and I will (hopefully) get to go to the downtown library after the weekend, but in the meantime we are visiting the UNCA Special Collections on Friday. I’m sure Gene and Colin will be able to point out a few things we might want to explore, and Ashley and I both understand this is a fluid, dynamic process (when above 32° F).