Students in History 204 have to submit four (4) research journal entries describing their attempts to find useful primary and secondary sources in connection with their assigned Dickinson College graduating class. Each student in the seminar will be assigned one graduating class from the period 1840 to 1880. Those mid-nineteenth century classes typically had a couple of dozen students, both graduates and some non-graduates, whose brief biographical summaries have been recorded in the 1905 Alumni Record edited by George L. Reed. Using that reference source as a starting point, students will try to find additional biographical information, student records and archival materials, relevant historic newspaper articles and sophisticated modern academic sources that can help propel them toward creating an engaging web-based exhibit for classroom teaching purposes.
Online research journals are becoming an increasingly popular way for historians to share insights about their forthcoming work. They also provide a convenient way to preserve information about the making of important projects. Here are three good models for online research journals created by Dickinson College students:
- Leah Miller (History 204), Dead Ends and Red Herrings
- Colin Macfarlane (History 304), Henry W. Spradley
- Becca Solnit (Honors), What About India Now?
Students in History 204 (Fall 2016) should aspire to create a four-part research journal that can help provide insight into the historical research process for other aspiring historians. The best journal entries in the class will be published at the course site and perhaps incorporated into future course syllabi at Dickinson College –or beyond.