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Instant Source for Local History

The Western Illinois Museum hopes to put local history in the palm of your hand through a mobile app.

“It just has the real potential to highlight Macomb’s unique history in a way that’s accessible to the population,” said John Ceglarek, Western Illinois University graduate assistant and Peace Corp fellow who has worked at the museum for the past year.

Ceglarek said interns and local organizations have helped develop the content. He said the app will include a “this day in history” feature, as well as sections on historic events and self-guided tours.

This app will really be celebrating what the community has already created

“I think one of the big groups that we could reach is those visitors that come to Macomb to drop students off or for business,” Ceglarek said. 

“This app will give them that information for things to do in the city. We think that once people are aware of the app, they will find a use for it and will want to stay for the weekend, go on one of the tours, get a hotel, and go out to eat and really make a vacation of it in Macomb.”

Ceglarek said most of the content is ready. Now the museum needs to have the programming done to complete the app.

He estimated the programming will cost thousands of dollars. He said the museum is seeking local and state grants, and is also hoping for donations from the community.

“We’re trying to make it a community supported program,” Ceglarek said. “This app will really be celebrating what the community has already created.”

He said the programming will be done by CAIT at WIU, and the app will be developed for Apple and Android phones. He hoped to start the programming this summer and have the app ready when school begins in the fall.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.