Ben Ostermeier

I am a historian with broad interests in the humanities who knows how to program and develop methods to meet the needs of digital scholars.


Madison Historical website
Whiteside website
Forgotten Illinois website
IRIS Center website
Wide Wide World Digital Edition
Conversation Toward a Brighter Future website


IRIS Digital Humanities Center

August 2017 - Present


After one year as a part-time tech developer for one digital project, Madison Historical, I was hired as the IRIS Center technician to support the technical needs of multiple additional projects, including Digital East St. Louis, Conversation Toward a Brighter Future 2.0, and Forgotten Illinois. As the technician, I am also responsible for giving advice and support to SIUE faculty and students creating their own digital projects, and I provide general technical support for the center. I have also proofread several successful federal grants and written successful community contracts and interal grants.

Madison Historical

August 2016 - July 2017

Tech Developer, part-time

My first position after graduating from SIUE was tech developer for Madison Historical: The Online Encyclopedia and Digital Archive for Madison County, Illinois. The project is coordinated by the History department at SIUE and is facilitated by the IRIS Center. As the tech developer, I developed the website for the project, including the encyclopedia and digital archive, along with their interface. I also created the project's standards for digitization and the controlled vocabulary for the digital archive.

SIUE University Archives

August 2015 - May 2016

Archives Assistant, Student Worker

My role as an archives assistant was focused on the extensive Eugene B. Redmond Collection at SIUE's Lovejoy Library. Redmond is the Poet Laureate of East St. Louis, Illinois, and prominent member of the Black Arts Movement. His collection documents both his work and his relationships with other members of the Black Arts Movement. I helped catalog and organize the collection, and I played a role in the early development of the collection's finding aid.

St. Clair County Historical Society

Summer 2014 and Summer 2015

Collections Volunteer

As a collections volunteer for the St. Clair County Historical Society in Belleville, Illinois, I cataloged the society's extensive collection of documents, photographs, and objects related to the history of St. Clair County. I separated objects from flat artifacts like documents and photographs and gave them catalog entries in the society's PastPerfect catalog software.

The Alestle

April 2013 - May 2014

Online, Copy, and Opinion Editors; Reporter

I first joined the SIUE student newspaper, The Alestle, as a copy editor, and gradually gained wide-ranging journalism experience. I reported on a number of campus issues, including a potential smoking ban, the reliability of campus Wi-Fi, and the treatment of wildlife on campus. As the opinion editor I was responsible for assigning editorials to reporters and creating the layout of the opinion section. As the Online Editor, I published our articles online and promoted them on Facebook and Twitter.


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

August 2012 - May 2016

History Bachelor of Arts

Minor in Digital Humanities and Social Sciences
Minor in Computer Science