New Digital Project: Gen Con 50th Anniversary Programs

Matt Shoemaker at Temple University Library’s Digital Scholarship Center is happy to announce that the first and largest phase of the Gen Con 50th Anniversary Programs project is complete and publically accessible! You can view the project here:

This project consisted of 3 major components. 1) The creation and cleaning of a dataset containing the event information for the convention for all 50 of its years that is available for public use. 2) a public interface to the dataset built in blacklight for easy web browsing and searches and 3) an Omeka site to host historical information, oral histories, and digital scholarship results related to the dataset. We plan to continue to work with this data for digital scholarship research in the DSC as well as use the data set in helping educate students in working with data.

On, you can explore the events of Gen Con’s present and past, take a historical tour of the locations that have held Gen Con, listen to or read interviews with Gen Con attendees, and learn about the types of research that is conducted using this event information.

Gen Con, originally a wargaming convention, began in Malvern, PA when, in 1967, 3 gaming club members, Gary Gygax, Bill Speer and Scott Duncan (a Temple alumnus), decided to emulate sci-fi conventions only for gaming. The following year it moved to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and was named Gen Con as a play on its location and the Geneva Convention Rules for Warfare. The convention has since grown considerably and is now the largest gaming convention in the world and a center for popular culture. More information can be found in our brief history of Gen Con.

Thanks to all the library staff and student workers that made this project possible:

Program digitization and data clean-up:Jillian Benedict, Luling Huang, Kaelin Jewell, Emily Logan, Ritomaitree Sarkar, Gary Scales, Crystal Tatis
Blacklight and Omeka systems work:Chad Nelson, Steven Ng
Web design:
Rachel Cox, Chris Doyle

Jen Grayburn


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