The City of Coral Gables and Florida International University are partnering in the creation of an interactive learning tool called a “Talking Book.” The Coral Gables “Talking Book” is an online learning tool with elements for students K-12, the general public, as well as for researchers. The K-12/general public facet will include historical artifacts and images as well as narrative read aloud recounting the history of Coral Gables. The narrative focuses on the City’s founder, George Merrick and the other people/places/events that shaped the City in its early years. The goal of the project is to preserve local history while simultaneously helping to educate students, the general public, the under served, as well as aid researchers.
The “Talking Book” will be linked to a database with primary and derivative source materials (City of Coral Gables legislative minute books, historical photographs, Coral Gables publications, newspapers, artifacts and ephemera, as well as oral histories). These items will serve as resources for researchers and individuals interested in a more extensive look into Coral Gables history. The project will also facilitate the preservation of those resources in digital format. All digital files will be saved in archival quality formats, stored at several locations on archival quality gold cds, as well as at the Florida Digital Archive (FDA) where digital files will receive a forward migration process to ensure their accessibility into perpetuity. A digital surrogate of the historical material will also ensure preservation of the physical artifacts by allowing for access to the information contained without the wear and tear that comes with handling the physical documents. Both the “Talking Book” and the extensive collection of materials held in the FCLA database will be available free of charge to the public.