The campus is buzzing about Eliza Baylies Wheaton! The Wheaton College founder and patroness has recently taken to Twitter. Eliza B. tweets about the weather, the activities of Norton townspeople, shopping trips to Boston, travel, and more. Each entry is taken directly from Mrs. Wheaton’s pocket diaries, and consists of one to three tweets a day. You may have even seen promotional stickers on students’ belongings or in the Library.
The @ElizaBTweetin Project is an offshoot of the Wheaton College Digital History Project. The WCDHP began in 2005 as a way for Professor Kathryn Tomasek and College Archivist Zeph Stickney to digitally share Mrs. Wheaton’s diaries and financial records with a larger community of scholars. Through transcription, text encoding, and hours of research, many Wheaton students have contributed their time and effort in order to better understand the life of one of Wheaton’s most important figures. Early this semester Pete Coco, Digital Learning Strategist and Technology Liaison for the Humanities, approached Zeph Stickney and Assistant Archivist Megan Wheaton-Book about a potential Twitter account collaboration, which the Archives is using as an opportunity to raise awareness about the WCDHP, and Mrs. Wheaton’s diaries. It is also hoped that this project will spur students and faculty into using Twitter as a tool for blended learning.
The @ElizaBTweetin twitter project will continue until 2018, and will expand from simple tweets into something much larger. Zeph Stickney and Megan Wheaton-Book, with the help of Colleen Wheeler, are developing a new webpage to display contextual blog posts, as well as a “who’s who,” an image gallery, and much more.
If you do not have a Twitter account it is easy to set one up by visiting https://twitter.com/ or just check in on the @ElizaBTweetin webpage (coming soon!).
Want your own @ElizaBTweetin sticker? Come to the Archives, visit the Library’s Information Desk, or contact Zeph Stickney, Pete Coco, or Megan Wheaton-Book.