From: Stuart Maxwell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monday, January 24, 2005
Dear Mr. Antoine,
As I was composing this email in my head just now, my eyes landed on your website's subtitle, "Open the windows that the lies may fly out." I love the sentiment. I hope I can introduce you to another resource with a similar philosophy.
I'm writing today to invite you to visit The Louverture Project, a free Haitian history wiki. This collaborative website, modeled on the Wikipedia, is dedicated to gathering, analyzing, and promoting knowledge of the Haitian Revolution. Like many wikis, this one may be read, written, and edited by anyone with a web browser. Following the philosophy that that the wisdom of the group -- when moderated by informed individuals -- is greater than that of any single individual, I want to encourage as many people as are interested
to help build this resource.
Compared to my long-range vision, this wiki is truly in the beginning stages of its development. Currently, it contains short biographies of about 50 individuals, a fairly well-developed historical timeline, lists of resources, an underdeveloped glossary, and a few articles on aspects of revolutionary history. I've also sketched out the plan for a historical narrative and added links to some online source material. In its ideal form, the wiki will host a thorough complement of both original and re-purposed articles, as well as digital images and transcriptions of primary research material. The software I'm using also allows the site to be translated into multiple languages, so French and Creole versions are in the plans.
Mr. Antoine, I'm happy to dedicate my energies to this project, yet I'm not Haitian nor am I an historian by training, so I'm asking for the input and contributions of those who are more knowledgeable than myself. My involvement was occasio
ned by my grandfather's five years of research into Haiti's revolution. He had hoped to write a popular history on the subject, but passed away before his work could be finished. I've had the privilege of carrying on in his absence, yet the task of finishing the work as he envisioned it has been a daunting task. Starting a wiki was the best way I could think of to gather and disseminate what I had learned. I hope it will be as useful and valuable in practice as it has been in my mind.
You are no doubt busy with your own projects -- Windows on Haiti is a wonderful resource, one which I've used especially to discover art and music (Amanda's Café Creole is playing on my iPod as we speak!). I hope, though, that you might visit my site at www.thelouvertureproject.org/wiki/ and have a look around. If you think it's a resource worth contributing to, I would be most flattered to have your participation, or for you to spread the word to others. If not, I would welcome any input on how it could be d
eveloped to be a better resource.
This is not a money-making venture for me by any means; I am bearing the sole cost at present of development and hosting. However, I am convinced that the project is worthwhile and could become in its maturity an invaluable aid to understanding the contributions of Haiti to the development of the Western hemisphere over the last 200 years. I hope you'll agree.
Stuart Maxwell, Administrator
P.S. I'm also maintaining a blog at the base URL - www.thelouvertureproject.org
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