Theodore Roosevelt Center at DSU

Creating a Comprehensive Archive of "TR" Online

Getting to Know TR

Getting to Know TR

The process for developing this site was built on TBG’s classic pre-Responsive "structured design process," but began with an unusual “environment immersion” over several days by the TBG team in the actual physical space of North Dakota—important to the client and the project so that we could get a sense of the amazing landscape that was so important to Theodore Roosevelt. The final design showcases how that experience influenced the aesthetics and use of photography in the site.

A Model Online Research Tool

A Model Online Research Tool

The award-winning Theodore Roosevelt Center website is a model for online resources that want to be the definitive site for well-known, public subject matter—whether it be museum, reference book, or research tool. A small team at the Center maintains the site with input from Theodore Roosevelt scholars around the world. The site is publicly popular and is being used by the very audiences that it set out to serve: students, families and real researchers, and has been well received by the Theodore Roosevelt academic research community.



One of our favorite projects was the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University. This site is perhaps the definitive online museum and research tool about the life of one of the most remarkable U.S. presidents. After flying to witness the amazing cloudscapes of the Badlands in distant North Dakota, TBG (The Berndt Group) team landed this creative opportunity and developed a site that is both aesthetically attractive and rich in unique content. Incorporating best practices for online museum sites and copious educational content, the site also serves as a tool for serious research academics.

Built in the Sitecore CMS, the site combines a design that allows for a broad appeal to students and families interested in American History (essentially functioning as an online museum/textbook on the subject) with powerful search and integration with multiple data sources for serious academic researchers. At the same time, the site presents engaging, high level information about Roosevelt’s life in a format that makes the best use of the Web, conveying the fascinating life of this complex individual, without dumbing down the subject matter.

"Developing this website was uncharted territory for us, and our team learned so much in the process. I like to think that we stretched The Berndt Group, as well, presenting new challenges to be solved in creative ways. Our collaboration produced an unparalleled user experience, and we are very proud of the results!"

Sharon Kilzer

Project Manager, Theodore Roosevelt Center 

  • 21,279Library Items on Website
  • 3# of River Bandits Arrested by TR
  • 1906Year TR Won the Nobel Peace Prize
  • 5# of Awards Won for the Site
  • award ribbon iconBest Practices Online Museum & Research Tool
Balancing Extreme Use Cases

Balancing Extreme Use Cases

Throughout the process, TBG focused on the particular challenge of understanding the use cases of the site's two very different audience groups: the relatively uninformed and low patience general public audience, looking for interesting and entertaining content on Roosevelt—and the very different audience of serious Theodore Roosevelt scholars, who need strong research tools and access to very granular information and documents from his life. At every step in the process, balancing and integrating these two (somewhat contradictory) imperatives was top of mind for us.

Positioning for Future Growth

Positioning for Future Growth

Having been built on the very robust and extensible Sitecore software, the content of the site is well-architected and highly reusable. It is also well-positioned for future growth. This project was particularly gratifying and satisfying for TBG to work on, because of the high number of positioning, usability and technical solutions that found unequivocally solid and successful solutions in the course of the project.