Collaborative History Project Guidelines

For this project we will compile a series of studies that have some significance to the history of New Paltz and begin with work in the digital archives at Historic Huguenot Street.

1. Choose a document to transcribe for this project. Review the documents found here:

You may choose any of the following items for this project:

-Estate Inventory of Cornelius DuBois (up to 8 students)
-Elizabeth DeWitt Letter (1 student)
-Will of Dr. Mauritus (up to 3 students)
-Deed of Noah Elting (2 students)
-Physician record of Dr. DeWitt (2 students)
-Ledger of Medications (2 students)
-Cutlery Receipt of Mrs. Abraham Deyo (1 student)
-Letters to Morris Jansen (up to 3 students)

Please let Prof. Mulready know by email your top three choices no later than Monday, Nov. 1

2. Perform Transcriptions. Once you are assigned a document you will transcribe it. The first draft of this transcription is due to Prof. Mulready by Nov. 15. Once he has approved your transcription you may enter it into Scripto (see directions here).

3. Research. As you are working on your transcription begin to research one or more questions that you have related to this document. You may want to learn more about an object mentioned in the document, for instance, a building or place that is mentioned in the document, and/or delve into the history of the person(s) who created it and are mentioned in the document.

You can also address larger research questions about histories of medicine, local politics, slavery, or any other topic that you think is relevant to understanding the context of your document. You may need to contact research librarians at the Elting Memorial Library (the New Paltz library) or the Historic Huguenot Archives (Prof. Mulready can help with this, but be sure to give yourself time to do this research).

4. Guidelines for Writing Your Document Entries You should think of yourself as a curator for a digital museum who is presenting your document and its stories to an educated audience. Each of your entries should include the following information: Images Use the highest quality photograph of the document 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. Please include additional images of people, objects, or other items that are a part of your document’s story. Narrative Write a narrative of roughly 500-800 words that answers the question: “What significance does this document have to New Paltz history?” What stories does your document open 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 additional primary source into your research on the object (more is better).

By Monday, November 22nd post, by the start of class, a draft (with images) of your essay to our course blog. Final revisions to the project will be due by December 6th.