In celebration of the 50th reunion of Hamilton College’s class of 1966, student library and information technology research fellows have worked closely with the college’s Research & Instructional Design team to create a pilot program. Led by Lisa Forrest, director of research and design, and assisted by Educational Technologist Kyle Burnham ’15, the students have produced a personalized multimedia yearbook containing oral histories, a timeline of archival materials, a music playlist generator and other features.
Beginning last summer, students contacted 66 class members for whom the college had emails addresses. Participants - 30 at this point - answered a list of questions about their experiences at Hamilton and their careers and lives following graduation. Alumni talked about their love for Hamilton, their favorite professors, sports, parties, the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK, the blizzard, among many other topics. Those recorded conversations were then edited and indexed by subject and loaded into the website. Other alumni chose to submit biographical summaries in writing and those, too, have been posted. Of course, there are also many photos of alumni then and now.
For those who have not yet participated in the digital yearbook program, there will be a booth on the first floor of the library Friday afternoon in which members of the class of 1966 can make a recording to be added to the digital yearbook.
Research and Digital Initiatives Librarian Reid Larson created a timeline of articles from the Spectator from 1965-1966 that includes Hill Undaunted by Power Failure about the great Northeast blackout to Students, Faculty Support U.S. Aid to Vietnam that reported a majority of students favored stepping up the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War.
There is also a playlist of songs that were popular that year that can be downloaded to one’s own playlist as well as a listing of groups and performers who came to campus that year. A map on the site also displays where members of the class where originally from and where they currently reside.