New O.C. history resource hub now online!

At long last, the Orange County Historical Society has a new website! Thanks to Daralee Ota, (of Olive Through The Ages fame), who did the design/build work, it's not only easily navigable, attractive, and up-to-date, but it's also downright useful!

OCHS' website committee got their heads together to decide what should and shouldn't appear on the site, and I think they hit the nail pretty much on the head. A few sections will be added later, but the crucial stuff is up already. Many, many more historical articles and materials will also be added later, although there's already some good stuff you can start reading. My favorite bits of the site?
  • Orange County History Articles - Watch for this one to grow in the coming months. Phil Brigandi, with help from the rest of the committee, led the effort to round up interesting content for the whole site. This page has some of the best.
  • Search Engine - The fun part is that it also searches the articles on tons of County Courier back issues. Lots of local history content to explore! I'll be even more excited about this when we have all our newsletters back through the 1960s scanned, OCR'ed, and posted.
  • History of OCHS -  A surprisingly interesting story in its own right.
  • Photo Gallery - Historical photos are always interesting. Member Betsy Vigus rounded up some great examples of images from OCHS' large collection.
  • Q&A - At every board meeting, our official Society historian, Ken Leavens, reads the queries he's received and also his responses. It's always fascinating. This new interactive section captures some of that.
  • Suggested Reading - Don't know where to start with local history? This list gives you some great places to start.
  • Publications - OCHS has a lot of great books for sale that you aren't likely to find on Amazon and or at Barnes & Noble. Now it's super easy to find them and order them via mail or PayPal. There's some very cool stuff on this list, and hopefully it will now end up in readers' hands.
  • Basics - Perhaps most importantly, the site tells you pretty much anything you want to know about the Society, including what they do, who they are, how to get involved, and what events are coming up.
Sorry to ramble on, but I've been wanting to see OCHS do this for a long time. And now that the first stage is done and online, it's already better than I'd hoped. My thanks to everyone involved.