University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

Work complete on first phase of Encyclopedia of Milwaukee


By - Mar 4th, 2020 01:20 pm

MILWAUKEE _ Work is complete on the first phase of the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee, the most comprehensive resource of its kind for answers to questions about the history of Wisconsin’s largest city.

With nearly 700 entries ranging from Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron to former Socialist Party Mayor Joseph Walzer, the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee’s project director.

The project, which began in 2008, has evolved to include an extensive collection of images, articles, hyperlinks, external resources and commentary. Entries are written by local historians, authors, faculty members or other experts, as well as graduate and undergraduate students working in close collaboration with faculty. Entries are then subject to detailed fact-checks and editing chains.

The encyclopedia can be a valuable tool for reporters seeking background and context for stories about Milwaukee and the region ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

The next stage of the project includes expanding the resources available for educators to use the encyclopedia as an interactive classroom tool to teach students. For instance, some UWM instructors and local high schools have already integrated the encyclopedia into their curriculums or used entries in projects for National History Day.

Organizers plan to make more lesson guides available for teachers. The guides are built in partnership with Milwaukee-area educators. Plans are also in the works to give students opportunities to produce digital public history pieces.

“The real values of EMKE are its accessibility and its dependability,” said John Gurda, a historian on the encyclopedia’s board of directors who wrote and hosted the Emmy Award-winning PBS series “Making Milwaukee.”

“It’s the first digital resource of its kind in Milwaukee, and the articles are the product of sound, extensively reviewed research,” said Gurda, who is also a UWM alum. “In a Wiki-world, EMKE stands out boldly for its fairness, accuracy and breadth.”

Mentioned in This Press Release

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