Collaborative History Project Guidelines

For this project we will compile a series of studies on particular objects that have some significance to the history of New Paltz and are drawn from the collections at Historic Huguenot Street.

The objects that you choose must have some significance to the history of New Paltz, but other than that you may choose any that you like based on your own interests. Here are some important deadlines for the project: Monday April 3 or Tuesday April 4: meet with Prof. Mulready to discuss 2-3 objects that you would like to work on. We will decide in our meeting what object will be your focus. Friday, April 7th (our regular seminar meeting time) Choose one (or more) of the library archives to work in to gather research on your object. You may go to Historic Huguenot Street, the Elting Library, or the Sojourner Truth Library (or two of these, if you have time). Prof. Mulready will offer suggestions to you, but you should also reach out to the librarians and professional staff at these libraries for guidance on your topics: Morgan Gwenwald (SUNY New Paltz Sojourner Truth Library): gwenwalm@newpaltz.edu; Carrie Allmendinger carrie@huguenotstreet.org (Historic Huguenot Street); Carol Johnson (Elting Library Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection): havilandheidgerd@yahoo.com. Tuesday or Friday April 18th/21st post, by the start of class, a draft (with images) of your post to our course blog (I will assign you a date). Final revisions to the project will be due by May 5th.

Guidelines for Writing Your Object Entries You should think of yourself as a curator for a digital museum who is presenting your object to an educated audience. Each of your entries should include the following information: Image Use the highest quality photograph of the object that you have, either from your own image collection or from our collaborative archive. If you don’t have a good image, follow up with the owner of the object and get one. Caption Include with your image a 50-60 word caption or label that gives a description of your object but also entices your reader/viewer to read more about it. This is more difficult than it sounds! Take a look at this tutorial on label writing from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for some helpful guidelines. Physical Description of the Object (100-150 words) Refer to our work earlier in the term on object descriptions. Be as specific as possible, and especially offer details that might not be readily apparent from the image. Provenance (about 100 words) State what you know about the object’s ownership. How did it come to be in the collection where it now resides? Can you establish a chain of ownership for the item? Date(s) of Creation  Narrative Write a narrative of roughly 500-800 words that answers the question: “What significance does this object have to New Paltz history?” What stories does your object tell about this place, its people, its landscape, etc.? Try to be as engaging as possible in your narrative, and include materials from your primary source research that fill out the story of your object. For some models, have a look at the essays included in the History of the World in 100 Objects collection. References Include a list of the references you used for the project, presented in MLA format. You should incorporate at least one primary source into your research on the object (more is better).