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A Guided Stroll Through the Past

Beginning this summer, walk in the present while seeing some of Vancouver, Washington’s oldest historic sites with Now iTour, a self-guided, voice-activated virtual tour through the world’s first head-mounted tablet.

When RealWear, a San Jose–based knowledge transfer company, moved into the Artillery Barracks of Vancouver, they essentially became a part of The Historic Trust. With both organizations interested in bringing the local community together, a simple conversation birthed the grand idea of melding together the technology of RealWear, the history of Vancouver, Wash., and the talented students of WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture program.

Dene Grigar.

Since fall 2017, Richard Burrows, director of community outreach and engagement at The Historic Trust, has worked with CMDC Director and Professor Dene Grigar’s students to develop three technology-based projects to provide engaging, interactive opportunities to experience the history of Vancouver in new ways. Each has been the focus of a senior seminar class, the last class taken before a CMDC senior graduates.

The first project was the Providence Academy Journey, an augmented reality experience, and the second, Unfolding Vancouver, an interactive game for tablets and smartphones. The graduating class of December 2018 developed Now iTour, an interactive tour given through a headset considered the world’s first head-mounted tablet, or the RealWear HMT-1. The company provided 10 headsets to The Historic Trust for the students to develop the application and for the Trust to give the tours.

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Northwest Crimson & Gray

‘Superhero’ WSUV student ready to soar

Single mother, business owner to be among 1,000 graduating Saturday.

Anne Murray.

When balancing college, raising two boys, and running a business overwhelms 43-year-old Anne Murray, she remembers something her mother used to tell her: “You can do anything for a short period of time.”

Murray and more than 1,000 students will graduate from Washington State University Vancouver this weekend. In some ways, Murray exemplifies what the suburban campus is all about.

On Saturday she will receive her bachelor’s degree in digital technology and culture. She plans to pursue a career in graphic design. And while it may have been a short period of time, like her mom would say, it’s certainly been a busy one.

Dene Grigar.

Dene Grigar, director of WSUV’s Creative Media and Digital Culture Program, said Murray’s reputation preceded her. Faculty in the program put together something called a “superheroes” list, including students who are driven, talented and prime candidates for internships or special projects. Murray was on that list early on.

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The Columbian

This might be the world’s only library of unpublished manuscripts: Vancouver’s Brautigan Library honors a Northwest literary icon

From a tribute cocktail once served at Capitol Hill’s now-shuttered Redwood to the Pacific Northwest streams he fished in as a boy, it’s easy to trace the lingering influence of Tacoma-born writer Richard Brautigan if you know where to look.

Though known for depicting San Francisco’s counterculture of the 1960s and 70s with surrealistic flair, you’ll find one of his greatest legacies on three bookcases in the basement of Vancouver’s Clark County Historical Museum.

Known as the Brautigan Library, the collection spans family histories, absurd Brautigan-esque capers, DIY religious tracts and memoirs of ordinary lives.

But in 1997, it closed due to lack of funding, and the manuscripts were put in storage in a basement.

John Barber.

This caught the attention of John Barber, a faculty member in the Creative Media and Digital Culture program at Washington State University, Vancouver, who had once studied under Brautigan.

He found space for the collection at the Clark County Historical Museum, and the library was moved and reopened in 2010.

Barber says he received an influx of manuscripts after the story about the Brautigan Library aired on This American Life. So far, 12 have been submitted in 2019.

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Seattle Times

Live radio drama features love stories for Valentine’s Day

John Barber.

“Affairs of the Heart with Lonesome Gal,” a live radio drama directed by John Barber, professor in the Creative Media and Digital Culture program at Washington State University Vancouver, will be performed at the Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Featuring local voice actors and sound artists, the show will be performed once only. Doors open at 6 p.m. The performance begins at 7 p.m.

“Affairs of the Heart” will sample five romantic radio dramas from the 1940s through the 1960s. The performance is part of Re‑Imagined Radio, a series led by Barber that presents live performances of new and classic radio dramas.

“Beyond entertainment, our live performance is both an exploration of how the original radio drama might have been produced, and an effort to promote civic engagement through community art and performances,” Barber said.

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WSU Insider

The Passamaquoddy Reclaim Their Culture Through Digital Repatriation

Today, a renewed spirit of indigenous activism coincides with the homecoming of some Passamaquoddy cultural artifacts. Audio engineers at the Library of Congress are using new technologies to convert rare, historical recordings into a much cleaner digital format, and, in a Native-first approach to archival work, the library is giving the tribe curatorial control.

Kimberly Christen.

The return of the Passamaquoddy archive involves the work of a large interdisciplinary team. There are, in addition to the librarians and engineers at the American Folklife Center, two academics who specialize in digital repatriation: Kim Christen, professor of English and director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University; and Jane Anderson, at New York University.

Christen manages an open-source content-management program called Mukurtu. Since its launch, several years ago, the software has been used by more than six hundred groups, including the Passamaquoddy, to curate their own Web sites and regulate access in accordance with custom. On the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, for example, members of eight participating tribes can log in to view materials specific to their community; the Web site of the Warumungu tribe restricts access to certain items according to gender.

The tool is not only for First Nations; Terry Baxter, an archivist in Oregon, is helping Don’t Shoot Portland, a civil-rights group that opposes police violence, use Mukurtu to organize everything from children’s drawings to protest announcements.

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The New Yorker