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PEOPLE’S UNIVERSITY: WV Archives, Class 2 - Wheeling's Treasure Maps

October 12, 2017

Event starts at 7:00 PM.

Using New Digital Tools to Find the Oldest Surviving Homes in North Wheeling

Professor Dan Bonenberger of Eastern Michigan’s Historic Preservation Program will discuss how he is leading an effort to identify houses from the 1830s to 1860s by analyzing old maps using new technologies. His presentation will go step-by-step through the process including how the some of the oldest maps of Wheeling (1853, 1871, and 1890) were brought together for analysis in a Geographic Information System (GIS). He will explain where the team found the maps, how they were digitized and integrated with high-resolution aerial orthophotographs, and describe how digital libraries and other tools such as Google Streetview are being used to supplement traditional fieldwork and archival research, as well as provide an overview of the larger project including how census records, city directories, and other sources can be used to flesh out the story of West Virginia homes and people.  Bonenberger will discuss best practices for digitizing historic maps, photographs, and ephemera in light of the principles and values that guide his research and show some rare images of North Wheeling, numerous details from the historic maps, and reveal some of the oldest houses that have been identified in the area. 

The public is encouraged to bring old photographs of the neighborhood north of the suspension bridge to the event. Selected photographs will be digitally scanned during the event to supplement the project and its goal of preserving evidence of North Wheeling’s past. Of particular interest are those taken before ca. 1960 where houses, businesses, or streetscapes are visible. The Eastern Michigan Historic Preservation North Wheeling Program project is funded by a grant from the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office administered by Wheeling Landmarks Commission in partnership with Wheeling Heritage.

Instructor: Dan Bonenberger, Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Eastern Michigan University

Instructor: Dan Bonenberger

Dan Bonenberger, a Wheeling native, has his BA and MA in History and an ABD in Geography from West Virginia University. He is an Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Eastern Michigan University.

The People’s University is a free program for adults who wish to continue their education in the liberal arts, featuring courses taught by experts in each subject that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in subjects such as history, philosophy, and literature. There are no grades and patrons are welcome to attend all classes or programs on an individual basis.

To register for The People’s University: West Virginia History Through Archives – Preserving the Mountain State’s Stories, please call the library at 304-232-0244, send an email to, or visit the Reference Desk. Classes are free and open to the public. Registration is not a commitment and you are welcome to attend any or all classes. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

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Ohio County Public Library

The Ohio County Public Library serves all persons who live in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia, which includes Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties. Residents in Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties of Ohio and Washington, Greene and Allegheny counties of Pennsylvania may also receive library services. 

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Friday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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