Application for funding submitted by:
The Alice Curtis Desmond & Hamilton Fish Library
Routes 9D & 403
Garrison, NY 10524
(914) 424-3020
Carolyn Donick, Library Director

A Virtual Trip on the Historic Hudson River:
Pamela Reed, Project Supervisor

A World Wide Web Site based upon William Wade's 19th Century Panorama of the Hudson River, with links to images, text and other Web Sites describing:

-The flora and fauna of the natural river

-The culture of Native American and Colonial peoples in the Hudson Valley

-The 19th and 20th Century history and industrialization of the Hudson

-The conservation and reclamation efforts of the 20th Century

Visitors to the site will explore scanned-in images of the River as it existed in the early 19th century, clicking on various points within those images to access explanatory material. The site will coordinate relevant but currently unrelated, scattered pages on the Web, and introduce new images and text developed specifically for this project. Accompanying the hypertext images will be supporting documentation in the form of bibliographies and curriculum manuals, which will allow guided exploration and integration of the site's in-depth material by educators world-wide in to their current curriculum. Outreach will focus upon schools within the Hudson Valley, from Northern Westchester to Southern Dutchess Counties. The site will, additionally, provide greatly enhanced access to the Library's Hudson River Reference Collection, an archive of historic images of the Hudson River Valley, funded in part by the Hudson River Foundation, which has furnished scholars, historians, educators and environmentalists with valuable material for over a decade.

Amount Requested: $13,200
Budget Total: $25,800

Work Schedule: June-July 1997

Design Web site; Locate initial images, texts, and external sites for inclusion and linkage; Identify topical material for illustration through additional images (from Hudson River Reference Collection and elsewhere); Identify topical material for inclusion in written documentation; Identify relevant New York State Curriculum and Learning standards.

October 1997-Post Web Site

November 1997-March 1998-Further research; Develop relevant Web links to the Panorama, adding them as they are located, purchased and written; Write the Curriculum Guide in consultation with selected teachers in area schools, targeting in particular: Verplanck, Peekskill, Garrison, Cold Spring, and Beacon.

I. Narrative Description of the Project

The Web Site
The Desmond Fish Library owns a rare copy of a panoramic 19th century depiction of the length of the Hudson River from New York Harbor to the Adirondacks. Within its five-inch wide, six-foot long folds, master engraver William Wade rendered in intricate detail both shores of the Hudson, including major tributaries, mountains and falls; factories, mills and boatyards; towns, lighthouses, and stately private residences.

A Virtual Trip on the Historic Hudson River would give access to a digital, hyperlinked image map of the Panorama, with "hot button" areas taking visitors to additional images, text and related Internet sites which give background information on those areas. A Virtual Trip on the Historic Hudson River would provide visitors with a guided, focused introduction to the history, culture and conservation efforts of the Hudson Valley. The site would serve as an electronic clearinghouse for a variety of currently operational but unrelated Web pages which provide information on other Hudson Valley resources. A Virtual Trip on the Historic Hudson River will, in its initial phase, focus upon that portion of the Panorama which depicts Northern Westchester, Putnam and Southern Dutchess Counties, and incorporate material related to:

-flora and fauna of the natural river

-Native American and Colonial Cultures

-19th and 20th century history and industrialization of the River Valley

-20th century conservation and reclamation efforts

The Web site would serve additionally as a central electronic educational facility for classroom-based instruction via the Internet. It would be particularly appropriate for exploration by schools located along the River and thus vitally concerned with Hudson Valley heritage and welfare - and subject as well to the curriculum and Learning Standards requirements of the New York State Department of Education. In keeping with the educational mission of the Hudson River Foundation, curriculum guides and content-specific mediagraphies (resource lists including books, videos, computer software and local history collections) will be created and distributed to area schools, all of which have Internet capability. Schools will thus be able to access the site easily, and integrate its content conveniently into their current Hudson River or Local History curriculum units, acquiring an in-depth and technologically sophisticated resource for comprehensive information on the Hudson Valley.

Images included in the site will be drawn from the 1100 images which currently comprise the Hudson River Reference Collection, and additional images - reproductions of historic paintings and historic photographs - located and acquired specifically for this project. The Web site will also allow e-mail communication, providing valuable feedback on its content and organization, and providing as well and electronic conduit for further exploration of the Hudson River Reference Collection.

Curriculum Guides & Mediagraphies

Funds provided by the Foundation will support research into the history, significance and present conditions of artifacts represented in the Panorama; the location and purchase of images required to illustrate topical material; the editing of the Web site; the writing of curriculum guides and bibliographes.

The Curriculum Guide will focus upon 4th grade local history, a state-mandated unit which, for those schools within the designated target area, frequently focuses upon content, concepts and issues related to the Hudson River. Seventh Grade American History also lends itself to the introduction of material related to the history of the Hudson Valley.

Curriculum Guides and Mediagraphies will be written by a certified School Library Media Specialist with expertise in curriculum design and research instruction. Curriculum units will deal specifically with content area mandated by New York State, and will meet State Learning Standards for Social Studies, English Language, and Research competencies. The guides should thus be attractive to educators both for their ease of use and their incorporation of the imperatives for educational reform placed upon them.

Enhanced Access to the Hudson River Reference Collection

For more than ten years, the Hudson River Reference Collection, housed at the Desmond Fish Library, has supplied educators, students, art historians and environmentalists with valuable information and material. This has included responses to research questions, descriptions and locations of specific images, and referrals to other institutions.

Collection staff have produced art exhibitions focused upon the history and cultural heritage of the Hudson Valley, and produced documentary materials. The Collection constitutes a significant and unique research resource worthy of consideration as an important educational facility.

The Collection includes approximately 1100 representations of the historic river (as well as a collection of books), but has suffered over the past few years from a lack of funding, resulting in a cessation of acquisition. The ollection is thus in need of updating, editing, modified data entry, and new purchases in order to meet the needs of this project, and to answer the research requests of patrons. The incorporation of Collection images into the Library's home page on the World Wide Web has spurred a recent increase in queries about the Collection; the Library is extremely interested in maximizing interest in and usage of this potential "Bettman Archive" of the Hudson River.

Relevance to the Mission of the Hudson River Foundation

Since its inception, when it translated one of the world's greatest conservational success stories into a permanent source of support for the health of the river, the Hudson River Foundation has performed an essential and critical function in restoring the ecology, safeguarding the future and raising the ecological consciousness of the next generation of citizens of the Hudson Valley. The ability of the Foundation to continue its work will require a constituency which is aware - not only of its own history as champion of one of the nation's great natural resources - but of the unique historic and cultural heritage which was predicted upon its shores. The Foundation's educational mission is thus critical to its future success.

With its ability to link electronically a broad variety of external resources - including those related to the conservation of the River - its introduction of the spectrum of Hudson Valley history and heritage through a unified electronic "trip" on the River, in coordination with printed materials intended to enhance its use by Hudson Valley educators, and its intrinsic historic and aesthetic interest as a rare artistic product of the past, A Virtual Trip on the Historic Hudson River should establish itself as an educational facility of significant importance.

List of Tasks to be Accomplished

1. Photograph Panorama, Northern Westchester through Southern Dutchess section; digitize image;

2. Locate external links to be included in the Web site;

3. Identify original material - images, text, etc. - required for coordination with landforms, towns, industrial installations, farms, etc. identified in Panorama, through internal document links;

4. Design Web site;

5. Post Web site;

6. Write Curriculum guides and Mediagraphies;

7. Publicize the site and the printed educational material;

8. Continue to identify and link to appropriate internal and external material those places and objects identified within the Wade Panorama.

II. List of Personnel

1. Pamela Reed: School Library Media Specialist, with expertise in curriculum design, research instruction, and experience with Elementary through High School; Administrator, Hudson River Reference Collection 1985-1992; Curator, exhibitions of Hudson River School painting, Desmond-Fish Library, 1988 and 1990.

2. Susan Bates: Consultant, electronic resources in education; Member, Board of Trustees, Desmond-Fish Library

3. Richard Bates: Founder & Manager, Highlands Chain (a local online network); Consultant, software systems.

III. Project Budget


Administrative/Research time

25 hours per week @ $30.00, six weeks


Administrative Research time

5 hours per week @ $30.00, 30 weeks


Special Photography of the Wade Panorama, for digitizing;

Purchase of reproductions and historic photographs to augment and update the Hudson River Reference Collection, in order to realize this project.


In-kind contribution

Consultant, Susan Bates


In-kind contribution

Web page design, web site management: Richard Bates


In-kind contribution

On-line computer time, software purchase, telephone time, paper, postage and printing: Desmond-Fish Library


In-kind contribution

Desmond-Fish Library professional staff time: Carolyn Donick, Director; Polly Townsend, Children's Librarian.