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&description=Finding Roosevelt: Creating a Comprehensive Archive of TR Online

One of our favorite projects that launched in the last few months, the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University, is perhaps the definitive online museum and research tool about the life of one of the most remarkable U.S. presidents. After flying to the amazing cloudscapes of the Badlands in distant North Dakota, The Berndt Group team were able to land this great creative opportunity and develop a site that is both aesthetically attractive and rich in content. Incorporating best practices for online museum and rich educational content, the site also serves serious research academics.

The site, built in the Sitecore CMS, combines a design that allows for a broad appeal to students and families interested in American History (essentially functioning as an online museum/textbook on the subject) with powerful search and integration with multiple data sources for researchers. Built in Sitecore, the site makes use of personalization features and user accounts, allowing researchers to bookmark and annotate items from the Library of Congress, Harvard College Library, the National Park Service, and elsewhere that include almost every scrap of paper that survived TR's life, enabling very serious research with usability previously unheard of in the field.

At the same time, the site presents engaging, high-level information about the President's life in a format that makes the best use of the web to convey the fascinating life of this complex individual, without dumbing down the subject matter.

The award-winning Theodore Roosevelt Center web site is a model for any online resource that wants to be the definitive site for a well-known, public subject matter, whether it be museum, reference book, or research tool. A small team at the Center maintains the site with input from TR scholars around the world. The site has been publicly popular and is being used by the very audiences that it set out to serve: students, families and real researchers, and has been well received by the TR academic research community.

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