Today’s digital tools can bring the past back to life and make it available for everyone’s benefit. The University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s Sindecuse Museum recently received a set of DVDs featuring interviews with 67 men and women who shaped the dental profession. Instead of putting these discs on the shelf, though, the staff put them online.
“Our museum’s mission is not limited to the history of dentistry at the University of Michigan,” said curator Shannon O’Dell, “so it was natural for us to accept the gift of the DVDs and add them to our reference collection. These interviews are a treasure now available to the world.”
The collection began as a series of videotapes recorded between 1984 and 2006. The International College of Dentists (ICD) then transferred the footage to DVDs and presented them to the museum. Next, museum collection coordinator Kathy Daniels worked with assistants Tom Stephenson and Halle Mares to create files for posting to the Web.
Daniels also upgraded the museum’s existing database so content could be searchable. She managed quality control as well. Dan Bruell, director of the school’s digital learning services, provided the expertise to reformat the DVDs for online viewing.
These videos feature in-depth discussions with essential researchers, educators, practitioners, and public servants. Notable names include Drs. Gordon J. Christensen, Arthur A. Dugoni, Jack W. Gottschalk, Maynard K. Hine, Lindsey D. Pankey Sr, Margaret Seward, and Harold C. Slavkin.
“Those interviewed represent the history of dentistry and influenced how it is practiced today,” said Dr. Ronald Paler, 9th district regent of the USA section of the ICD. “Those who watch and listen to the interviews will learn more about each person’s contribution to the profession and their passion for dentistry.”