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South Shore of Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas
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South Shore Memory Project Receives Continued Support
August 2001

FLIPPIN, Ark. - The South Shore Foundation Board approved a $4,800 grant to continue support for the South Shore Memory Project coordinated by Allen Benson, director of library services at Arkansas State University Mountain Home. The project gathers and records local history of Marion and Baxter Counties in a digital format and then publishes special exhibits for the public at www.ozarkhistory.com.

According to Benson, the Memory Project "remains one of the few digital library projects in the nation that attempts to catalog and distribute text, audio, image, and video clips." Flippin Public School teachers, students, South Shore residents, and private industry have worked together to preserve local history. The funds will help finance the maintenance, technical support, and database management for the project.

The Memory Project, first launched in 1998, had students collecting historic photographs, interviewing and recording Flippin area residents, and learning how to digitize sound, images, and text. In 1999 the project received a state grant of $95,000 for a fully equipped computer lab. In a second phase of funding, Benson was able to develop a Web-based collection system. Each record included text describing the file. "Visitors to this site can now search on keywords and pull up any record by subject," said Benson.

Interest in the Ozark history Web site is world-wide. Each week between 250 and 380 visitors log onto the site. They are from all around the U.S., including Virginia, Texas, New Jersey, the University of Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, California, and Washington, D.C. Visitors come from cities as far away as Athens, Greece. "We have a 51% increase in visitors over the last year and page hits are up 33%," Benson said. Funds granted by the South Shore Foundation ensure that the Web site is maintained and all data indexed and digitally archived.

South Shore Memory Project Director Allen Benson and SSF Trustee Jodie Jeffrey-Sanders.
South Shore Memory Project gains audience

Above, South Shore Memory Project Director Allen Benson shows South Shore Foundation Trustee Jodie Jeffrey-Sanders a video on the local history Web site funded, in part, by the South Shore Foundation. This video shows Flippin students interviewing Gassville residents to create an oral history and publish it on the Web site with the address: www.ozarkhistory.com.

The South Shore Foundation is the charitable foundation of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company at Flippin. Its governing board has 12 trustees from the fields of education, business, and government in Marion County and adjoining communities. Current trustees are: NATCO President Steven G. Sanders, Deanna Sullivan, Howard Evans, Heidi Volltrauer, Dr. Ed Coulter, Phyllis Speer, Margaret Hall, Frank Bailey, Betty Barker Smith, Jodie Jeffrey-Sanders, Dr. David Land and Mike Brown.

The South Shore Foundation grants funds to nonprofit agencies and communities to further the goals of educational advancement, environmental preservation, community betterment, and economic development. For more information or to receive a grant application, call (870) 453-3333.

 
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South Shore • 301 East Main Street • P.O. Box 209 • Flippin, AR 72634
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