Freshmen History Majors Hard at Work in the University Archives (by Marshall Rice)
The freshman history majors in Dr. Marinari’s History 100 class have
been busy doing research on friars' missionary work in China from 1939 to 1952.
The Shashi mission that these friars embarked on saw monumental changes from
the Japanese occupation to the communist regime coming into power in China. The adjustment
for the friars is well noted in the provincial annals from their treatment by
each group to their ability to complete their work. For the freshmen already to be able to experience archival research at the SBU university archives is a tremendous opportunity.
The first challenge these students faced was to divide up the research evenly
and construct a full annotated bibliography of every source to use as a
reference. Once that was accomplished, each student had to use their research
to come up with a thesis to propose. Using multiple sources from the provincial
annals, obituaries, and other information identified with the help of senior
archivist Dennis Frank and assistant archivist Amber Cheladyn, each student
backed up their proposal with primary sources. The next task for these freshmen
is to make an attractive and engaging website to display their research paper. All the student pages can be found on the course webpage. Students are responsible for their own page, bringing together effective use
of pictures, videos, and graphics to make their page unique. They will then give a formal
presentation to the rest of the class, showcasing their hard work and new-found
knowledge. This presentation will serve as a chance to receive feedback from
their peers and another opportunity to present in front of people, thereby giving
the students a chance to professionalize themselves and be better prepared for their life in college and beyond.