20th Century University Expansion

Our project consists of examining different expansion projects that the University underwent during the 20th Century. We decided that if a source includes additional important information, we’ll include it in our analysis. For example, if a source explains the effect of a certain type of expansion project, such as increasing the population of the school, we will include it to show the growth of the University. We will include a Timeline of at least 7 University projects so the audience can see how the University is growing and renovating as time goes on. The project got off to a rocky start because of illness, but we’re attempting to overcome it and do the best we can. Our project will be compiled in a Google Site and the link will be posted on the class website.

Matt,Colin,Jack project

Our project is looking into Division 3 athletics and how the University of Scranton fits into the big picture. One of the central themes of the project is our timeline. It will tie in the project especially between the NCAA and the University of Scranton. We have used timeline KnightLab to format and organize the data. It has been really interesting to use. It gives the audience a visual way to see the data while also being ascetically pleasing. Overall the project has been a exciting learning experience tying together sports and the University.

The Expansion of Campus Diversity

From doing research thus far, we have discovered that from 1980 to 1999 there has been an increase in diversity at the University of Scranton. This project has provided us with historical information of the University that most students wouldn’t know. I find it interesting to learn about the background of the school I am attending.

As I work on the timeline, I skim the sources to get a feel of what they are about. I’ve realized that the University worked hard to be a more inclusive school for others by holding various events. They had numerous lectures about diversity that included guest speakers who spoke about their experiences and were eager to spread their knowledge to the community of Scranton. Conferences were also held to bring together local schools to discuss cultural diversity.  Nowadays, the University is seen as a community that supports diversity and advocates for it. There has been progress from the past and this progress is still ongoing. Currently, there are different events held for students that provide knowledge of diversity and some events are even seen as fun yet informative.  We are also looking at how diversity was expanded in terms of  nationality.  There was a significant increase in the number of international students attending the University during this time, and this played a major role in the expansion of diversity. As for sources, we have found our primary sources from the digital library provided by the University of Scranton. These sources provided us with information on how the University extensively worked towards boosting the efficiency of racial and ethnic diversity on campus.

Our group has made great progress on discovering how the University has increased its multicultural life on campus and has increased in international students attending. There is still plenty of work to get done before we can be completely content with our project!

The Jesuits Take Moving WAY Too Seriously

Our projects are due in less than a month, and doing research has officially ascended to the level of priority number one. I have read so many letters and have had to analyze so much poor handwriting, I think my glasses need a new prescription. We are making a lot of progress, though. After compiling a list of letters exchanged between everyone involved in the Jesuit takeover, dating them, and writing a brief description to make sense of the dates, I should have enough data to start constructing a basic timeline by Saturday. James has been in and out of the Lackawanna Historical Society finding primary sources to determine Scranton’s reaction to World War II and the Jesuit takeover, and is surprisingly finding more information in the Wilkes-Barre newspaper’s archives than our own, but sources are sources.

We are feeling confident about our Clio post (which is still in the works) and our project, but it wasn’t always that way. Trying to find a landmark in Scranton that had anything to do with our topic was . . . difficult. We mulled over ideas for a few days with nothing to show for it. And then an idea came. Where did it all begin . . . for us as students anyway? Answer: the Estate. Walking around the campus is one thing, but every student starts their journey at the University of Scranton in admissions, conveniently housed in the old Victorian residency of the Scranton family. How does that relate to our project? The Jesuits began their journey their, too: they covertly moved into the Estate in June 1942, and I do mean covertly. Not even the moving truck driver was allowed to know what was going on. It’s a little much on the Jesuit’s part, but nonetheless a fun story.

When I found out our final projects had to be about the University of Scranton way back in the beginning of the semester, I was a little disappointed. Correction: I feared the impeding boredom I thought would follow researching something as niche as the University of Scranton. That isn’t the case now, though. The stories we’re uncovering are interesting and all the more relevant because we walk the grounds they unfolded on. It’s an eye-opening experience to say the least.

BLOG #1 (Scranton Arts)

Today,  the crew met up at the  Weinberg Memorial Library, to discuss our Clio Page and the research website. After weighing in our options, we concluded that providing a tour of Gunster Memorial Student Center, would best suit our research.  Opened in 1960, the University’s student center was home to many campus theater productions and artistic events.  Since this building was constructed at the start of our time line (1960’s), we figured that its features would reflect the style and treads of that time period. In 2008, Gunster was demolished and replaced with the DeNaples Center. The old building stood at the location of the Dionne Green. For further information about the former “Hub” of the campus check out our page on Clio! In addition, our research website now has a tab dedicated to our Clio findings. This page will include pictures and a brief summary on our topic (GMSC). Overall, we are making great progress and are on pace to meet our goals. Good luck to all the other fellow researchers! Have a great weekend!


The Final Turn

In class on November 6th, we discussed in a large group what the final chapter in Arnolds book was about. we discussed the importance of history and why it is so important to study it. The discussion was one of the best we had with group participation in my opinion. We discussed the importance of why we study history and things we could do to improve and watch out for while studying it. We are now in the final turn of the semester. we need to finish our final presentations and finish strong during these last few weeks.

Project Proposal Presentations

In class on November 1st, students presented their group project proposals.  Each group created a PowerPoint presentation to describe their project overview, sources, tools, and timetable.  The purpose of these presentations was to demonstrate to Dr. Levy and the class the groups` ideas for the final project, while practicing public speaking and teamwork skills.  There are five groups, and each presented on a different topic.  Within each group, one theme was chosen based on the topic of their Scranton papers, that merged topics of different group member`s papers together.  The presentations demonstrated this collaboration by each team member discussing their contribution to the project.  When each team was discussing their use of different digital tools, many of the same tools were being discussed in different presentations.  This showed that these digital tools can be used to visualize many different topics and can be used in many different ways.  For example, Allie and James discussed making a timeline to demonstrate the correlation of World War II and the Jesuits taking over the University of Scranton.  The group presenting on diversity explained that they will be creating a timeline as well, but to show the specific statistics of campus diversity over a certain period of time.  The same tool being used for two different themes shows the versatility of digital tools, and shows how useful they can be to historians.

Julia Hack

The Grand Tour and Network Visualization Introduction

We started off class with a discussion about the reading that we were assigned. Jason M. Kelly’s “Reading the Grand Tour at a Distance: Archives and Datasets in Digital History.” focuses on critiquing the primary source of the Grand Tour case study. The visualizations helped us understand how things developed throughout a period of time. Discussed in class how the visualizations were helpful. Dr. Levy gave us the task of summarizing a few of the paragraphs during our discussion, which definitely helped us understand the material we had to read even further. We also discussed the difference between an archive and the dictionary. An archive can include a primary secondary source while a dictionary tries to be neutral. A dictionary has a list of people. After the discussion, we reviewed over what we had to complete in Task 6. We used a couple of Palladio tutorials to start getting the tasks done. 

The Grand Tour and Geocoding

Class started with a ten minute discussion on the reading,“British Travelers in Eighteenth-Century Italy: The Grand Tour and the Profession of Architecture.” Dr. Levy had us try to lead our own discussion. It wasn’t the greatest success. Although, we did raise good questions and we were able to add on to each other’s ideas throughout the talk. Even though the discussions aren’t great, they have improved since the beginning of the semester. Hopefully we’ll keep improving. We also analyzed the different graphics in the article and their meaning. These graphs focused on different aspects of the travelers who participated during the Grand Tour. Using the graphs as a transition, we began learning about geocoding and georeferencing. To get a tangible understanding of what geocoding is, we visited http://gis.ucla.edu/geocoder and entered in our address. The algorithm then determined the latitude and longitude of our address, which we then copied over into a spreadsheet which allows for geocoding and georeferencing to be a lot simpler. Plugging in an address isn’t as easy as it sounds. I entered mine with the wrong punctuation and got a coordination that was completely wrong. Eventually, everyone figured it out and now will use this information for our next Task.

Oct. 23 Network Visualization

For Mondays class we discussed network visualization and how we can use graphs on our projects to help present our data and findings. We were also given an introduction to the program Palladio. It is a tool that can allow people to turn data into different graphs, charts etc. This can be very useful for many of our upcoming projects. Finally we had a discussion on Dan Edlestein’s piece, “Historical Research in a Digital Age: Reflections from the Mapping the Republic of Letters Project.” It was a very productive discussion and we covered a lot of ground in twenty minutes. It was interesting to see the opinions that everyone had on the importance of the Republic of Letters. Next class we are looking forward to geocoding, Breve, and another discussion.
Colin Sommers