By: Marc Ransford—
Muncie, IN—A group of Ball State University students are working to bring the history of the Delphi Opera House and the Indiana community that surrounds it to life with the creation of an exhibit at the 153-year-old facility.
The students created this space by working with historical artifacts found at the site, providing context through historical research and writing, and filming interviews to display within the museum space.
The exhibition is being produced by Ball State students through the public history practicum course, under the direction of professor Ronald V. Morris. The public history practicum is a class dedicated to developing practical skills for a variety of historic applications and careers after college.
To provide historical context, students researched various areas of Delphi’s history that coincide with the history of the opera house, like Delphi’s early transportation systems and important figures such as James Whitcomb Riley, a regular performer at the opera house.
“Working with the Delphi Opera House was a great experience, and one I’m likely to remember for a long time,” said Gwyneth Harris, an anthropology major from Portland, Indiana. “Before the opera house, I had never worked on designing a museum exhibit. This project offered experience working with clients and the opportunity to translate my love for history into a physical exhibit, which I thoroughly enjoyed.”
The Delphi Preservation Society, which was founded as a non-profit organization in 1994, was created to preserve the town’s historic architectural integrity.