The Packer Collegiate Institute: A Story of Education in Brooklyn

Making History: Conducting Scholarly Research in the Archives, 2016-2017

Making History was an advanced topics history course designed to enable students to conduct original research to gain insight into history by using the materials held in the Packer Collegiate Institute records (2014.019) housed at Brooklyn Historical Society’s Othmer Library. Working as historians in the archives, students develop advanced research and writing skills and provide feedback to their peers throughout the process. Each student works with a high degree of independence throughout the research process by seeking to draw meaningful connections between items in the Packer collection and national and international events. Students present their research in two forms: first, in the composition of a scholarly essay; and second, in a public presentation at a scholarly symposium held at the end of the academic year. In the first year of the course, research projects focused on topics such as: school newspapers and student activism, late nineteenth century attitudes towards nature, and women’s travel writing in the 1920s.

Sarah Strauss, PhD
Faculty, The Packer Collegiate Institute