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Published: Friday, 6/22/2007

Virtual museum captures history

The rich history of Toledo, with special emphasis on the 20th century, is available through a virtual museum called Toledo's Attic at www.toledosattic.org, an archivist at the University of Toledo said during a taping of The Editors television program.

Barbara Floyd, who has been called the curator of the virtual museum, said the project began nearly 10 years ago during discussions among Toledo business and community leaders about creating a museum to preserve and share the city's history.

After several discussions, it was deemed too expensive to build and keep up a museum, and the idea of a virtual museum seemed like a more viable alternative, Ms. Floyd said.

Ms. Floyd said that, in addition to being less expensive, Toledo's Attic provides visitors with a level of interactivity not always available at other museums.

"People can interact in a way with a virtual museum that you can't do when you stare at objects and read labels," she said.

Toledo's Attic also allows those who visit the site the opportunity to comment on exhibits and offer suggestions. It also is easier and less costly to add, change, and update exhibits online, Ms. Floyd said.

An individual contacted the museum and provided information about the history of the Harris Toy Co., which was built in Toledo in 1887.

Ms. Floyd said the information was used to create an exhibit, which might not have been done without the help from the online visitor.

Ms. Floyd was interviewed by Thomas Walton, vice president and editor of The Blade.

Mr. Walton taped his last edition of The Editors yesterday. He is retiring from the newspaper business after 42 years.

The Editors will return in the fall with a new host, Jack Lessenberry, The Blade's ombudsman.

The Editors will be broadcast at 9 tonight on WGTE-TV, Channel 30, and at 12:30 p.m. Sunday on WBGU, Channel 27.

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