This project builds on the recognition that businesses and local business people constitute the building blocks of our community. It focuses on collecting and archiving oral histories of Central Florida businesses. In addition, the project will collect documents such as diaries, letters, advertisements, and other materials. The project concentrates on businesses that have been in the area for more than fifty years. We also seek materials and information on businesses that once were important in Central Florida but no longer exist. In addition to students and scholars, Building Blocks will aid policy makers, business people, entrepreneurs, and other groups interested in the Central Florida community.
The information collected in the Building Blocks project will be made available through Central Florida Mosaic Interface that will visually demonstrate the role of business in our region's history. It will provide viewers with maps from various periods of Central Florida history, with pop-up features for towns, roads, railroads, and some larger farms. When viewers click onto the pop-up, they will see images of the firms or farms in that area and read about the types of businesses that comprised the town. Excerpts from diaries that highlight the town or the business, business records, and oral histories will complete each popup. By clicking on maps from various eras, the viewer will be able to see economic change over time.
This project is historical, but it promises to have importance for both the present and the future. Community organizations will be able to link to the website from their own. It can become a component of business and development presentations, conveying a sense of a specific location and its social and economic history. Teachers will be able to use the site in their classrooms and for research projects. In ways like these, Building Blocks will use the past as a way for planning and thinking about how we got here, where we are now, and where we are headed in the future.
RICHES of Central Florida
Department of History