"Designing History": How should we present the past?

One of the first classes you take as a public history major is centered around how history should be practiced with a public audience in mind. The basic idea is that public history is interactive: the people who see your work are just as much a part of the story as the subjects are. Seems … Continue reading "Designing History": How should we present the past?

Learning to "Do History": Lessons in Collaborative Research and Writing

I have been involved with the Digital Harrisburg Initiative since January of 2018 and have had the opportunity to be involved in may different projects. Most of the writing I've been asked to do has been very independent (minus a few edits in post-production). Over the past year, however, I was able to contribute to … Continue reading Learning to "Do History": Lessons in Collaborative Research and Writing

New History: Updates on Digital Harrisburg

The team of students and faculty at Messiah College's branch of the Digital Harrisburg Initiative have been hard at work for the past few months on a variety of different projects. Our on-going involvement in the Look Up, Look Out campaign and Commonwealth Monument project allows many different students to lend their voices to important … Continue reading New History: Updates on Digital Harrisburg

Remembering in High-Resolution: Examining Photographs from Harrisburg’s Old Eighth Ward

As the Capitol building was erected The Old Eighth Ward, a culturally rich area mostly populated by immigrants and minorities was torn down to make space.  The narrative cast painted The Old Eighth as a place of vice.  Destroying it was justified because it was believed to be a seedy crime hub, a place not worth saving.  The goal of this project is to restore life to a place that it was taken from.

My First Job as a Digital Historian

At the end of the fall semester of my sophomore year of college, I was told that through my current internship I would be able to research and write for a monument that would later be installed in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. Without hesitation I accepted, but as the exhibit developed it became a … Continue reading My First Job as a Digital Historian

Picturing People from the Past

Recently the Digital Harrisburg team have been looking for photos to pair with the stories written for the Look Up Look Out campaign. These stories are the culmination of months of research dedicated to the residents and businesses of 8th Ward before its destruction in the early 1900s. Despite work done by Stephanie Patterson Gilbert … Continue reading Picturing People from the Past

Looking into the Old 8th Ward

When researching for a history project, one can run into a lot of inconsistencies that make collecting any kind of data difficult. We expect the things we find to hand us information that correlates with our theories, but it's hardly ever that easy. In order to get a realistic perspective from the artifact, one has … Continue reading Looking into the Old 8th Ward

Remembering the Old Eighth Ward

The image above shows the picturesque sprawling green of Capitol Park. It is a beautiful extension of the impressive Capitol grounds with a remarkable fountain, tree-lined walking space, and view of the State Street bridge. For sure, many a visitor has marveled over this magnificent edifice; according to Lenwood Sloan, a local facilitator of cultural … Continue reading Remembering the Old Eighth Ward

Rethinking Harrisburg, the City Beautiful: Call for Contributions

A call for contributions to a special issue of Pennsylvania History: "Harrisburg, The City Beautiful: Rethinking Urban Improvement in the Pennsylvania State Capital" edited by James B. LaGrand and David K. Pettegrew Abstract: Harrisburg’s City Beautiful Movement has an important place in the history of urban reform in America. Among the very earliest progressive reform movements, … Continue reading Rethinking Harrisburg, the City Beautiful: Call for Contributions