About the TMI Web Site

The idea to archive the Omaha Public Library's Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition collection originated in the mid-1990s with then Library Director Lon Dickerson, History Librarian Greg Mickells, and Library Technology Manager Janet Davenport. Funding was provided by a grant from the Major Urban Resource Libraries (MURLS). Since digital scanning was the archiving method chosen, building a web site based on the images was a natural extension. Efforts were made to complete the project before the Exposition Centenial celebration.

The Omaha Public Library
TransMississippi Digital Archive Project

The project evolved into two distinct efforts. Under the direction of Tom Heenan, History Manager for the Omaha Public Library, over 2,000 original photographs of the Exposition were scanned by Molly Cuddigan and Chrissie Rakes. This digital archive is housed on over sixty CD-ROM's.

Chrissie Rakes and Molly Cuddigan
Technical Managers for the
Omaha Public Library
TransMississippi Digital Archive Project

Omaha Public Library
TransMississippi and International Exposition

Web Site

These images and other artifacts within the Omaha Public Library collection became the source documents for the web site. The web site was designed and developed by students from Marian High School [http://marian.creighton.edu] in Omaha, NE. The Omaha Public Library would like to thank these students for the time, research and creativity that they've devoted to this project.

The creation of the web site was headed by Chrissie Rakes and Molly Cuddigan. The web site contains over 5,000 pages of information, including images from F. A. Rinehart, the official photographer of the exposition, and a complete copy of the 700 page Secretary's Report, written by John Wakefield in 1903. Copies of the Omaha Bee and Omaha World Herald for 1897 and 1898 were also reviewed and information from these newspapers was added to the web site.

A core team consisting of Elizabeth Kallstrom, Kalle Jones, Kakie McGill, Sara Gregory, Ann Young, Megan Irwin and Pota Rakes developed the key sections of the web site.

This team was assisted by Andrea Fox, Brigid Dolan and Cathy Lang.

Each of the photographs within the digital archive were reduced in resolution and saved as jpeg images. Using the photo archive and some original maps from the exposition, a detailed map of the Grand Court, Bluffs Tract, North Midway, East Midway and Transportation areas were developed.

Kakie McGill works on one of the maps for the web site

Numerous planning and design meetings were held as the team grappled with organizing such a large collection of significant information.

In addition to using the TMI maps to navigate the site it was decided to create a photo gallery to serve as an anchor to the other information presented within the web site.

The web team quickly discovered that some of the information sources provided conflicting information about the exposition. For example, the Official Program of the Exposition states that the "Camera Obscura" is located on the East Midway, yet tmi00774 shows a "Camera Obscura" on the left side of 20th Street. There may have been more than one "Camera Obscura" or it was moved during the Exhibition, or perhaps the written source was incorrect.

Pota Rakes looks over the master photo index in preparation for a planning meeting.

Using the Marian High School CD-ROM production facilities Molly Cuddigan completes another CD for the TransMississippi archive.
The images on the web site are a compromise between quality and size. The digital archive on CD-ROM is of much higher quality. The average size of an image on the web site is 48 kb while the average size of an image on the archive is 30 mb. The library has made it possible for you to acquire prints of these images and CD-ROM's containing the high quality images. Eventually, ordering will be online, but for now inquiries should be directed to the main branch of the Omaha Public Library.

Ann Young working on the map section of the web site.
The web project continues as additional information is acquired. The scanning of artifacts from the Omaha Public Library collection, additional research into TMI sources and artifacts from individuals and other institutional collections are being added to this web site. We hope that you enjoy your visit to the TransMississippi and International Exhibition. Come back soon.
Web Site Perspective and Language
Source documents and views.
Website Statistics

© 1998 The Omaha Public Library