The purpose of the Fred Sammons Archive Project, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center is to organize the entirety of Fred Sammons’ archives; personal, business, and career-related; into a digitized and searchable online database for public use. The site serves as a reference for students, educators, researchers, and practitioners.
The size and scope of the archival materials contain 4,800 pages of documents, 30-plus hours of video, and photos of 70 physical artifacts, including product prototypes. It dives deep into Fred’s business life, strategy, and development.
As a part of developing this archive, Dr. Roger O. Smith conducted 10 studio interviews with Fred about his upbringing, early career, product creative process, and the philosophies underlying this revolutionary inventor and educator. These are divided into topical short segments, coded, and tagged for searching and finding snippets of interesting information and for those that know Fred, his stories.
Besides serving as a central site for the history of Fred Sammons, Fred invested in assuring that the website was creatively and maximal accessible. The website hosts the archival materials for worldwide access and intentionally contains accessibility components futuristic for such archives. These consist of audio descriptions, closed captions, and transcriptions. These also include brief and essential text descriptions of illustrations or illegible documents, artifacts, and photographs. The site also presents “Fred’s notes,” where Fred, himself, has recorded audio descriptions of many of his handwritten memos, doodles, margin notations, and drawings.
The web archive design serves as an educational and historical resource. Moreover, it is produced to hold the interest of visitors. Have fun exploring Fred’s archives!