Mason City Architectural Inventory Online Platform

Graduate students in the School of Library & Information Science built a framework and online platform for archiving data related to Mason City architecture.

Mason City is a community with a strong architectural heritage. A publication from 1977, Mason City, Iowa: An Architectural Heritage, features this rich history. However, this historic architecture book was last revised over twenty years ago. This year, Mason City had a desire to update the text once again, but realized that there were some limitations to only having the information in the form of a print book.

Instead, the city decided they wanted to build out a database, which would allow for continual updates as time passes and more buildings are acknowledged as historic. The database could also be accompanied with a web-based application, which would provide access to the information and allow it to be shared with the community, both within Mason City and outside of it.

The project—like the Archives and Media course itself—is part archives/special collections, and part digital humanities. Professor Lindsay Mattock worked alongside thirteen graduate students (twelve SLIS students, and one Public Digital Humanities Certificate Scholar from a non-SLIS department) on digitizing Mason City’s architectural heritage.