The Spurgeon Notebook is a collection of photographs and information pieced together about the buildings designed and built by Joseph Wiley Spurgeon. Many of the images appear to be clipped from city guide books from the 1920s (mostly a guess) and include rough addresses and the names of the current owners. Spurgeon was a significant figure in the town’s history and the creator of the notebook wanted to collect information about his buildings. I found the notebook in the Archives of Baker University and the Kansas Area of the United Methodist Church while serving as an intern during the summer of 2007. Prior to then, no one had really looked through or investigated its contents.
About the Project:
I completed this project in the fall of 2007 while a senior at Baker University and an intern at the Archives of Baker University and the Kansas Area of the United Methodist Church. The initial thrust for the project came from a experimental, interdisciplinary Geographic Information Systems (GIS) class I was taking. During the course I was encourage to think about applying GIS technology to my own discipline. As a historian, I thought mapping data (in this case pictures) from archives was a worthwhile idea. It not only helps connect history to a sense of place, but allows one to see how a place has changed. With the support of my instructors, I submitted an abstract (which was accepted) and presented the project in the Student Competition at the University of Kansas’s 2007 GIS Day.
I admit that this was a technology and data drive project. As such, it lacks much of the detail and information one would expect in traditional historic research. Because I no longer work nor live near the Baker University Archives, I have not updated this project or done more research since its completion in 2007.