When asked the reason for updating the Milton Historical Society site, John Challinor II explained “Most Miltonians, like most of the developed world, have changed how they send, receive and consume information. MHS had to change how it presented, communicated and inter-acted with Miltonians to remain authoritative, helpful and relevant. The site conveys the MHS brand and messaging. MHS is the authority on Milton’s rich history, the keeper of that historic flame and is a valuable, worthwhile and approachable longterm public resource.”

He pointed out some highlights of the new site: “the online bookstore; online membership purchase; online event ticket purchase; online brief history of Milton; online calendar of events to attend or blacksmith education to take or guest speakers or facilities to book… The site brings to life Milton’s best kept secrets; it’s absolutely most valuable gems and is a resource Miltonians 160 years from now will be very thankful their forefathers had the foresight to digitize.”

Local graphic designer Jennifer Smith was very pleased when the MHS approached her to do a ‘renovation’ of their site. “I have long felt that technology plays a vital role in aiding our study of the past” she said, “People want and expect to be able to do things like search databases, pay for books and memberships, and even book tours online. By offering these things, we will be able to attract new members, generate interest in Milton’s past, and grow the MHS into the future… I hope the new site will serve as a one-stop-shop for people new to Milton who are interested in learning more about the history of their new home: how Milton got its start; where their street or neighbourhood got its name and perhaps join a walking tour or blacksmith class.

“My design objective was to convey a fusion of old and new. Historical societies have a reputation for being old fashioned and a bit stuffy, so I wanted to break out of that and communicate the relevance of the MHS to the present and the future… the overall design is clean and functional, using images of the past in an eye-catching and modern way… I just love how easy it is to navigate now. There has always been a wealth of information on the MHS website, but now it is presented in a way that is easy to follow and understand, using images more than words to guide you through it.

“The Historic Walking Tour section is terrific!” Jennifer Smith affirms, “Just pick a neighbourhood you want to explore, pick a date, and book your tour online. We will soon have a similar system for booking Blacksmith Classes – although they are so popular we might have to start by booking next year’s! The online Book Shop is also very handy for purchasing MHS publications. … Everything is online including shipping calculations and payment. And of course as a genealogist I love the archives section where you will find links to census records, historical atlases, the Halton image database and more – all intuitively organized and easy to use.”

Jennifer invites everyone to “Please feel free to share what you find on our new website with your friends on social media and encourage them to visit and explore for themselves.” www.miltonhistoricalsociety.ca

Jenny Panda
Author

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