While MARCH promotes collaboration and innovation in public humanities across the region, at our home base at Rutgers-Camden, we also create opportunities for the next generation of public humanities professionals. This month our rowhouse in the Cooper Street Historic District has been lively with undergraduate and graduate students as well as the ongoing activities of our staff.
Students and recent alumni are learning local history and developing digital publishing skills by working on The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia project. They gain insight into the process of scholarly publishing by fact-checking submissions, which involves independently seeking to verify information in each article on its way to publication. They seek out illustrations and research and write extended captions, which turn each topic into a visual hub of the region’s digital resources. While learning themselves, they find links to primary source documents that make each topic page especially useful for students and teachers (this month, we have begun to add links specially targeted to the needs of projects for National History Day). Students and recent alumni also manage the administrative functions of the project and connect the Encyclopedia’s content to the public through social media.
We also welcome students working on independent studies and class projects. This semester, two graduate students from the Department of History are combining readings in material culture with object studies of original features in our rowhouse offices. Another is studying the public history and memory of the American Revolution. We were also excited to host a visit by students from Villanova University, who came to film an interview with MARCH founding director Howard Gillette for a documentary they are producing about Camden’s HopeWorks.
Creating opportunities for students is an investment in the future vitality of the region. In November, we will offer an opportunity to support these and other activities at MARCH during the second annual Rutgers Giving Day. Watch your social media for updates and help us grow!