The Barney Bunch: “Zoom”ing Right Along

Hello, Friends!

It has been a great week for The Barney Bunch.


Training on various functions of Omeka S commenced this week. This means that the final site is starting to take shape! We are uploading and cataloging items and beginning to organize the different aspects of the site. From splash pages to search engines, our goal is to make this site as accessible, inviting, and informative as possible.


We wanted to share a sneak peek of this process with you. Here is our label that will be featured prominently on our site. Please feast your eyes on the before and after. We cannot praise Buddy, Sean, and Garth (our UMKC tech and design team) enough for the design of this label and their general skills and support.


The absolute highlight of our week was the time we got to spend on a conference call with the fabulous Phyllis Kessel. She had us laughing, crying, and absolutely inspired. In the words of Alec, Phyllis “is made of carbon fiber and reinforced steel.”

Phyllis told us that her relationship with Barney really began in California. She won all of our hearts when she said that “getting to know [Barney] beyond the music was amazing.”

Many of the insights garnered from the interview will be available on the completed site.

The poignancy of having created a new primary source document when our access to source documents was cut short due to COVID-19 is not lost on us.

We have all felt keenly the absence of the “hands on” component to this project. Yet, in spite of this time of academic complexity, through technology connecting us across 5 states, we have come closer to understanding Barney Kessel than ever before. It seems to be a vibrant fusion of classic scholarly approaches and individual and communal ingenuity in light of unprecedented world events.

This is the miracle of The Barney Kessel Project.

We are grateful that you are sharing this journey with us.

Until next time,

The Barney Bunch