Thursday, February 6, 2014

More Fun in Local Historical Societies

Maple Shade Barn: Home of the Northern York County Historical Society
Messiah College did not have class today due to the snow and ice in south-central Pennsylvania so I used the day to rustle up a few more collections for my students to examine as part of my Pennsylvania History course. (Can you tell I am having fun with this.  I love being in historical libraries and archives, especially local ones.).

This morning I headed out to the Cumberland County Historical Society in Carlisle.  Because of the weather I was the only one in the library today and thus got to work closely with both the society's librarian and photography curator on possible collections that might work for my student's digital exhibit project.  I examined some great collections, but decided to offer five of them to my students:
  • A collection on the underground railroad in Carlisle, PA.  
  • A collection on the McClintock Slave Riot of 1847
  • A collection on the Carlisle YMCA
  • A collection on the Girls Scouts in Cumberland County, NJ
  • A collection on a camp in Cumberland County used as a camp for the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and a secret interrogation camps of German and Japanese soldiers in 1943.
Later in the day I headed to nearby Dillsburg to visit the Northern York County Historical & Preservation Society where I added two more collections to the list:  a collection on a local farmer's fair and parade in the town and a collection related to one-room schoolhouses in the area.

Since we lost electricity at my house early yesterday morning and it had still not come back on by 6:30pm or so, my daughter and I headed over to my office at Messiah College (it had heat, electricity, and WiFi) where I wrote up a student guide for choosing collections and working in archives.

So I think I made the best of my snow day.  Tomorrow morning I will be part of a group of Messiah College faculty interested in creating a "Digital Harrisburg" project and I have a meeting with the archivist at the Messiah College Archives.  I teach Pennsylvania history at 12:25 and then I hope to spend an hour or so at the Dauphin County Historical Society in Harrisburg browsing some of the collections at that repository.  

The day ends with my daughter Caroline's middle school basketball game!

2 comments:

devincthomas said...

John: I'd love to hear more about the "Digital Harrisburg" project you're brainstorming. Pete Powers and I discussed this briefly in the past, but I'd love to know about new developments, etc.

John Fea said...

Devin: You should have been present at the meeting. Let's have coffee soon.