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The History Center blog shares research and findings about local history, excerpts from the History Center Archives, information about upcoming exhibits and other opportunities on how to get involved with The History Center in Tompkins County. To learn more or view the archival materials mentioned, visit us in downtown Ithaca, follow us on social media @TompkinsHistory, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter History Happenings

Welcoming IC's Environmental Studies Students back to the Research Library

Thu, August 04, 2022 4:13 PM | Anonymous

After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic, we are happy to report that we have  resumed our educational programming with Ithaca College students. Almost every year since 2005 we conducted highly successful research projects with Professor Michael Smith and his History of American Environmental Thought classes. Students were taught how to be practicing historians, with in-depth introductions to our archival collections and guidance on best practices for researching. Focusing on various topics of local environmental significance such as energy use, water concerns, public health, transportation, agricultural history, and industrial development, students did extensive research in our archival collections and then prepared a final project outlining their findings. We resumed that successful program this spring, and at the same time began work with a second Ithaca College class based on the same research model. This new group's focus was on local history, exploring the Ithaca community in a study of Regenerate History that is, the kind of history that the community might draw upon to help it move forward into the 21st century. These first year students examined our collections covering the past and present of this small city they recently made their home. Their emphasis was on understanding Ithaca as a place, either socially, politically, environmentally, or culturally. They studied noteworthy sites throughout Ithaca, including the Commons, the Southside Community Center, the Ithaca City Cemetery, and Stewart Park

We are delighted to be engaging with Ithaca College students again in this fun and fruitful research process, and are grateful that all of the students adapted themselves to our Covid precautions, carefully wearing their masks and working in small groups in our Research Library. As the semester progressed we were able to welcome more of them on research days, and their continued vigilance ensured a safe and enjoyable experience for us all. We are looking forward to continuing this research collaboration in the coming years. 

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