A new interactive Web site for the Doak House Museum is providing a fun and different way for students and teachers to learn about the early history of Tusculum College and life in the 19th century.
The Web site, found at http://doakhouse.tusculum.edu/interactive, provides a virtual look at the museum located on the Tusculum College campus. While the Web site is engaging to those interested in history and education, it was created to be especially fun and informative for students and their teachers.
The Web site features an attractive shot of the Doak House on its front page and information about the house, the home of the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, who, with his father, founded a school in his home that became the Tusculum College of today. The educational focus of the Web site is underscored by the background graphics for each page, a blackboard surrounded by handsome woodwork with chalk and an inkwell and quill pen in the corners.
From the front page, visitors can click headings to learn more about the house itself, the Doak family history, early education and the pastimes of children in the 1800s. Another page features information about agriculture (the Doaks operated a large farm), archaeology and what recent archeological digs at the Doak House site have uncovered.
On the easily navigated topic pages, collages of photos can be clicked to reveal vignettes of interesting facts.
“The Web site interactive idea came from so many requests from students and teachers that were wanting more information about the Doak family,” said Cindy Lucas, director of the Doak House Museum and associate director of the Tusculum College Department of Museum Program and Studies. “Since 21st century students are in tune with technology, what better way to provide information than through an interactive Web site. They can click and learn at the same time, entertaining yet educational in the same click.”
After coming up with the idea for the Web site, Lucas then wrote a grant seeking funding through a state grant. Last spring, the museum received a $7,500 Community Enhancement Grant from the state of Tennessee. The Web site project has also received the support of Virginia Gray, and Charlotte Gray, who is a member of the Tusculum Board of Trustees and granddaughter of Charles Oliver Gray, who was president of the college in the early 20th century.
Developed by the Tombras Group, the Web site features photos by Christopher Bradshaw of Photography Done Right.
The Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library are administered by the Tusculum College Department of Museum Program and Studies under the direction of George Collins, director of Museum Program and Studies, and Cindy Lucas, associate director of the department and director of the Doak House Museum. The department also offers one of the few undergraduate degree programs in museum studies in the country.
The Doak House Museum, which was the home of the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, co-founder of the college, hosted more than 10,000 school children from East Tennessee last year for a variety of educational programs related to the 19th century and CHARACTER COUNTS!
The Andrew Johnson Museum, located in the oldest academic building on campus, houses a collection of books, papers and memorabilia of the 17th president of the United States. The museum also houses the Charles Coffin Collection from the original college library and the College archives containing documents related to the history of Tusculum. The museums are also two of the 10 structures on the Tusculum campus on the National Register of Historic Places.