The Chapman Center for Rural Studies was created in 2008 with a gift from K-State alumnus, Mark Chapman. Born and raised in Broughton, Kansas, Mr. Chapman was concerned that the stories of Broughton, condemned for flood control in 1966, were being lost with each passing year. Both graduate and undergraduate students working under the direction of faculty, slowly pieced the story of Broughton, Kansas, together into a full length book.

Since the publication of Broughton Kansas: Portrait of a Lost Town 1869-1966 in August of 2010, students enrolled in the Kansas Communities class at K-State have been researching other communities whose existence was in danger of being forgotten. Many of these stories, known as “thumbnails” were archived and uploaded to K-State’s Research and Exchange database and formed the foundation for collection. Stories written and researched by students in other classes will be uploaded to the Lost Communities Digital Memory Project site as they come online in the fall and spring of 2014-15.

The Lost Communities Digital Memory Project takes the work of our students one step farther; it allows viewers to tell their own stories through this digital web portal. This collection builds on the research of present and former graduate students, including Sandra Reddish, Janet Timmerman, Margaret Bickers, Van Hutchinson, Zach Isenhower, Daron Blake and Theresa Young. Equally central to the work of this site are the Chapman Center interns, who do the day-to-day work of research, collection, and editing of new information about lost and nearly forgotten places and peoples. Arthi Subramanian, our web designer, has negotiated the transition of this site from an idea into a reality to explore and enjoy. Most of all, this collection is indebted to Mr. Mark Chapman, whose vision for this project and passion about the past has led him to generously provide for its support.

The Lost Communities Digital Memory Project was aided and inspired by the work of the staff and students at the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University. In particular, we wish to thank T. Mills Kelly of the CHNM who patiently walked us through the application of his portal software program (OMEKA), the staff of K-State’s Hale Library, and the staff at K-State’s Media Convergence Center for their technical advice and support.

General inquiries related to this site or about the Chapman Center for Rural Studies may be directed to chapmancenter@ksu.edu or by calling 785.532.0380.