Abbey O’Leary ’24
Trinity College is currently celebrating its Bicentennial. In part of this celebration, a number of projects have been launched to share this monumental year with the Trinity community. One such project is the Encyclopedia Trinitiana. The Encyclopedia Trinitiana is a joint project between technologists, archivists and LITS librarians and was inspired by a necessity for information on various Trinity locations, people, and events. It began in the spring of 2022 by Founding Committee, led by Christina Bleyer, Eric Stoykovich, Amy Harrell, Amanda Matava, Jeff Liszka and Cheryl Cape. In conversation with Dr. Eric Stoykovich, Trinity College archivist and manuscript librarian, he said that while “the Encyclopedia Trinitiana was conceived and initiated by the Libraries and Digital Learning team, [it] has truly been a group effort of staff, as well as the work of student assistants in the College Archives, who drafted many of the Encyclopedia’s entries.”
The aim of the project was to establish a broad understanding that the long history of Trinity’s campus is ongoing and unfinished and highlight that previous histories have not always included the numerous voices and ideas that have made the institution great. The team working on the project has continued to focus less on the people involved with the history of Trinity in favor of places on campus, events, and broader concepts due to the intricacies of selecting which voices are more prominent in the making of Trinity than others. However, the individual identities and voices of a large number of people on campus have been included, considering their undeniable role in Trinity College. The committee sought to establish a project that would continue to celebrate Trinity’s history beyond the original initiative and build an endurable, accessible and community based project that will remain a fixture in the Trinity College community for years to come. Ultimately, the Encyclopedia Trinitiana was created to exemplify the vast array of people, places and events that have contributed to Trinity’s diverse history through the different voices and backgrounds that have shaped Trinity’s identity.
In further conversation regarding the project, Dr. Stoykovich discussed the platform of the initiative. He said, “the project has been funded by the Watkinson Library and hopes to provide students, faculty, staff and alumni a user-friendly and reliable secondary source for the history of Trinity College. By updating and revising the two books on the college’s past written in the late twentieth century, the Encyclopedia makes accessible the college’s history for a digital audience. Live and searchable to the public for a very short time- since only May of this year in fact- our hope is that greater publicity will lead to increased use, interest and critique.” As previously stated, the site is open to the public and easy to use. Each entry has a set of references including a number of different sources for further research and the team encourages users to utilize the tags and references available on the site. The site can be reached at encyclopedia.domains.trincoll.edu and the team also welcomes any feedback at email@example.com.