UT librarian Anne Bridges was inducted as an Honor Initiate of the Pi Beta Phi fraternity for women at their biennial conference in Scottsdale, Arizona in June. Bridges, with UT librarian Ken Wise, was co-principal investigator of the IMLS funded grant project From Pi Beta Phi to Arrowmont: Bringing Education and Economic Development to the Great Smoky Mountains, 1910-2004.
The project’s Web site chronicles the highly successful efforts by the members of the fraternity to bring educational opportunities, health care, craft development and marketing to the isolated mountain hamlet of Gatlinburg, beginning in 1912, and continuing to the present via the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. The project, which began in 2002, is available at www.lib.utk.edu/arrowmont.
The digital collection features photographs, images, letters, diaries and scrapbooks as well as a 360-degree interactive art gallery. The Web site also has historical essays that provide context and additional information about the culture and history of Gatlinburg, TN, and an integrated curriculum package for K-8 students. Wise and Bridges presented an overview of their research at the conference’s general session on June 25.
At each Pi Beta Phi convention, one woman is invited to join the fraternity as the Honor Initiate in recognition of her service to the Pi Phis. “This is an incredible honor and I am very pleased they selected me,” Bridges said.