September 2, 2015 by bbutler1969
“I went to an interesting talk at the Westlake Porter Public Library about the grand tour of Europe that the Wade family of Cleveland took,” my aunt wrote me yesterday. “You would have really enjoyed it. The speaker told about reading the diaries of the family members who went on the trips, organizing them, etc. It sounded like the work you did at the Ohio Historical Society and Miami University.”
I might have missed the talk that Holly Witchey of the Western Reserve Historical Society gave, but I’m going to follow a fascinating blog about The Wade Project, in which Holly shares information about the Wade family and chronicles efforts to digitize the Wade family papers and make them accessible online. You might like to follow it as well.
The Wade family included Jeptha Homer Wade (1811-1890), a founder of Western Union; his son, Randall Palmer Wade (1835-1876); and Randall’s son, Jeptha Homer Wade II (1857-1926). In 1881, Jeptha Wade gave Cleveland’s Wade Park and the surrounding area are known today as University Circle as a gift to the city. Wade family papers, as well as the travel journals documenting the European trip that Randall Wade, his stepmother, his wife and their two children took in 1870, are in the Western Reserve Historical Society Research Library’s collections.
The goal of the first phase of The Wade Project is to create an online repository of the Wade family papers so that students and scholars can use them. The first scholarly initiative focuses on the annotation of the Wade travel journals. Later phases of the project will encourage collaboration among both scholars and institutions with related collections, foster discussion of best practices in those collaborations, and to provide a model that allows access to records of other families.