Prairiefire: The Illinois Country Before 1818
Prairiefire: How to Use This Site
This web site includes a searchable digital library of primary source materials, as well as a set of original, concise interpretive resources designed to help site users to explore and interpret them. Primary materials include texts and images. In the case of period sheet music, the project's developers have taken the liberty of assembling musicians to make latter-day recordings of selected works in order to make them more interesting and accessible to a non-specialist audience.
Interpretive materials include texts and videos in which scholars discuss historical developments from chronological and thematic perspectives.
The developers of this web site have used this approach in order enable a broad public audience to explore primary source materials with the assistance of scholars' observations and interpretations.
In doing so, they also hope to use the web to help professional historians, whose work has constructed a detailed literature largely written for fellow academic practitioners, to engage with this audience.