Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dane County Historical Society put The Madison Mirror online -- but they forgot to tell most of us about it

On June 3, 2008 I wrote a post titled, "The Dane County Historical Society presents 'I Remember Central High School!!' -- but they forgot to tell most of us about it," which noted that the Dane County Historical Society (DCHS) hadn't been particularly effective in reaching out to alumni and friends of Madison Central High School. I also mentioned that the DCHS had plans to digitize the school newspaper, The Madison Mirror, and make it available on line.

On June 6, 2008, Dane101 included that post in its Breakfast Links -- and, I think not coincidentally, I received the following email message from the president of the DCHS:
Good morning Nadine,

I saw your blog post in which you mentioned our upcoming program on "I Remember Central". I apologize that we didn't get information out to you. We have a very limited pool of volunteers and so we were not able to do as much publicity for the event as we would have liked to. An announcement did go to the major media in the area, so hopefully many of your readers will have seen it anyway, in time to plan to attend.

Soon after the meeting, we hope to have our web page index to The Madison Mirror up and running. We will let you know when that is available. We would like to be able to link back to your blog page from that page as well.

Thanks for your interest. I will be back in touch when the final index is available.

Mary Clark, president
Dane County Historical Society

There's been no follow-up from anyone at DCHS since then. However, I have discovered that The Madison Mirror is indeed online, as have several other Central alumni, who've encouraged me to post some links to it. So that's what I'm going to do, even though the DCHS hasn't linked back here (or to the Central History Blogs). They have added links to a some, but not all, of the Flickr photo collections you can access from this blog (and the other related blogs).

Before you click on over to the DCHS site to view the online versions of The Madison Mirror, a few words of advice/wisdom/caution:

(1) The link in the middle of the "I Remember Madison Central High" page for title "Read The Madison Mirror" doesn't work; use the one in the sidebar ("View The Madison Mirror") instead.

(2) When you click on the "View The Madison Mirror" link, you'll reach a 32-page PDF document with a list of links to the issues of The Madison Mirror in chronological order. This means you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Most people do, but if you don't have it, you'll have to install it. Use this link to Adobe for a free download (and uncheck the box for the free eBay Desktop before you start to save space on your hard drive).

(3) BE VERY CAREFUL: Many of the PDF files for individual issues of The Madison Mirror are HUGE. I've found some that are 12 MG. If you're still using a dial-up connect, you probably don't want to try to access any of these PDFs because it will take too long to open them. Even if you have a high-speed connection, you may find that you're unable to open some issues because of the size. Trying to do so may tie up your browser. Note: It's not just me (and I have DSL). Some other alumni have also been trying to open issues of particular interest to them and reported to me that they couldn't.

One more observation -- and then I'm going out for a walk. Since the DCHS invites you to submit your memories, I want to remind all Central alumni that your contributions to this family of Madison Central High School blogs have always been welcomed. A few of you have sent posts, letters, and photographs. Many of you have left terrific comments filled with fascinating memories and observations. I'd love to have more -- but I've learned in the past several years that most of you prefer to read rather than write -- and that's fine with me. Just remember to check back once in a while to see what's new and visit the other blogs focusing on Central History and archiving alumni obituaries. You'll find links to all of them in the right hand column.

Update (11/24/2008): The DCHS website now has a link to the Madison Central High School History blog, as well as to the Central Alumni and Class of 1966 Flickr photostreams.

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