The MARCH-based project to research and interpret the Cooper Street Historic District in Camden has been honored with a Chancellor’s Civic Engagement Award for community-based scholarship. MARCH Director Charlene Mires received the award at a ceremony at Rutgers-Camden on April 26, 2018.
The Cooper Street Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and MARCH advocates stewardship of the district as a model outdoor classroom and asset for the campus and surrounding communities. Research into the social history of the district is creating new knowledge about Camden residents during the city’s period of greatest growth. With this, we gain insights into patterns of investment and disinvestment during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Students contributing to this project gain research and writing skills and insight into urban history, historic preservation, and historical interpretation. Particularly key to the project’s success is the database of past residents of Cooper Street, a work-in-progress by graduate student and MARCH digital media coordinator Lucy Davis.
In the most recent addition to the project, graduate students in public history investigated a collection of artifacts uncovered by archaeologists prior to the construction of a new dormitory at 330 Cooper Street. The students presented their findings at a public program, “What Lies Beneath Cooper Street?” sponsored by the Rutgers-Camden Honors College on April 26, 2018.