Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Cape Cod Sketchbook revisited - 60 years later

One of the joys of surfing the web are those happy accidents which occur from time to time. I found A Cape Cod Sketchbook Revisited in just such a way - I googled one term in looking for something else and suddenly noticing a listing and thought "Must take a look at that".

I got such a surprise as it is such a unique project. I do urge you to look at it as it's a fascinating combination of two different time periods, an artist and a group of school children

Jack Frost, an artist, created a sketchbook of Cape Cod in 1939. In 1999, a group of three children set out to revisit all the places he sketched 60 years earlier. New digital photos sit side by side with copies of the original pen and ink drawings - with commentary on local history and other relevant matters.

The work was done as a project for Thinkquest in 1999. The purpose of Thinkquest is admirable and is as follows
ThinkQuest inspires students to think, connect, create, and share. Students work in teams to build innovative and educational websites to share with the world. Along the way, they learn research, writing, teamwork, and technology skills and compete for exciting prizes
Update 2015: Thinkquest was discontinued in 2013. I'd like to thank the mother of one of the boys involved who wrote to tell me and also to tell me the link to the new place where the project is archived - now incorporated into the title of the project at the top of this page and the link at the bottom.
I just wanted to say thank you for posting about the site back then and for understanding what a labor of love it was for those three students from separate school districts to put together. 
I think the children did an absolutely terrific job with their project. They were (then):
  • Rockwell - a fifth grader. He scanned the pictures,created the HTML and the page layouts, and took some of the photographs.
  • Laura - a sixth grader. She wrote the text descriptions and took some of the photographs.
  • Geoff - a sixth grader. He created the quiz, recorded the audio descriptions, and took some of the photographs.
Then I discovered that AskArt recorded notes left by people who were Jack Frost's descendents. All this from a sketchbook!

Who knows, if we all keep sketchbooks of our own localities, some children might come along in 60 years time and do the same thing to one of our sketchbooks! Wouldn't that be marvellous?

If you don't get enough of these happy accidents when googling, you might like to generate some sites that you might not otherwise discover, by trying Stumbleupon which generates websites according to your area of interest.

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