The history of Orange City is being represented in a book that will go on sale in May 2014. Professor Doug Anderson and three other members of the Northwestern community joined together to co-write and collect pictures for this project.
Anderson came up with the idea to publish a book in 2012 when he was at a bookstore in Omaha, Neb.
“I was browsing through books about Nebraska when I came across the book Chadron, written by a college professor and his students. Then it hit me that maybe I could do this as a project for my history students,” Anderson said.
Anderson discussed the idea of a history book with other faculty members and students at NW and soon had three others excited to join the project. Working alongside Professor Anderson were senior Sarah Kaltenbach, Library Director Tim Schlack and Reference Librarian Greta Grond.
“Libraries have always been storehouses of information, but I also feel that libraries have a big part in creating information,” Grond said. “Plus, I was a history major and have always loved history.”
Orange City, published by Arcadia Publishing, will be part of the publishing company’s Images in America books. Orange City has six chapters and features 202 photos. Four chapters of the book are in chronological order, and the other two chapters focus on Northwestern College and the Tulip Festival.
The chapter on Northwestern was primarily put together by Kaltenbach and other students in Andersons’ Iowa History class. It was also the chapter sent to Arcadia Publishing in an application for the publishers to evaluate the work the team could produce.
“Working on the Northwestern chapter of the book was basically our project for the semester,” Senior Keely Bracelin said. We had a lot of time to work on it in class, which was nice. I was mostly in charge of the research of the history of Northwestern, and the other three students in our class were in charge of finding photos.”
Arcadia Publishing was impressed with the students’ work and accepted the task of publishing Orange City. However, Arcadia has strict criteria that must be met in order for all of the books to be in similar format. One big challenge for Anderson and his co-authors was finding pictures that would be of suitable format for the book.
“The photos in general were a challenge. Some of the oldest photos are from newspaper copies, which means they are not always the best quality. We used a tool called Dropbox to share our pictures. This made transferring pictures with Arcadia a much simpler process.
Anderson wanted to inform the public about the history of Orange City as well as use the book to create community among Orange City visitors and residents.
“We wanted the book to not only help us think about Orange City as a place that has a past, present and future, but also bind together the community and the college,”Anderson said. “It seems to be part of our mission. Jesus is a Lord who takes us outside of ourselves. It is part of our mission to produce a book like this that would be of interest to those in our community and those who visit our community.”