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In collaboration with Museum L/A, Grow L+A, and Museum in the Streets, our community-based research project focuses on the creation of a “first class” visual walking history tour. The tour, which includes 15-30 signs with 150-word captions and 3-4 images per sign, focuses on the rich histories of Lewiston and Auburn, encompassing their long affiliation with the Androscoggin River, and strives to connect the people of Lewiston and Auburn to place through historical facts and anecdotes. In contributing to the creation of this visual walking history tour, our Bates team aims to tell the intricate story of the Androscoggin River through ecological, social, political, industrial, and cultural lenses in hopes of contribute historically inclusive signs to the community. While doing so we hope to encouraging participation and involvement of both local and regional communities. Included in this report is a detailed sign making process created by the Bates team to be used to create the 15-30 signs. The signs will include images, facts, and anecdotes which portray different views of Lewiston and Auburn through the eye of the past.

As the nature of our project is historically based, we spent much of our time carefully creating a sign making process with which we could portray information in an inclusive narrative. This included utilizing a variety of resources for research, including Ladd Library, Muskie Archives, the Androscoggin Historical Society, and internet sources, as well as referencing local members/professionals within the community regarding all information included in the signs. Our deliverables for the project included an iterative and repeatable flowchart for creating each sign, and 15 drafts of 150-word excerpts and selected photos for future sign content. In addition to sign content, we created an editable virtual map of possible sign locations along the Androscoggin River.

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