Nearby History, Tracking the Written Word
Clues to the Blue Hill Peninsula’s past await our investigation in libraries, historical societies and public record offices across the peninsula and in Ellsworth. Internet sites enable us to examine astonishing resources from faraway archives right on our desktops. This colloquy focuses on extracting history from sources available close to home. We explore techniques for locating and analyzing original letters and diaries, historic newspapers, books and papers, vital records, and other published and unpublished sources. We learn to interweave bits of evidence to reveal long-hidden truths and stories. We confront historic myths and consider ways to counter them.
Our approach is interactive: You identify a historic topic that interests you. You then pose questions that help you research and analyze it effectively. Time is set aside each session to discuss research challenges and findings. You learn to keep good research records and to check and double-check sources. You unravel the intricacies of transcribing a hand-written manuscript. You get tips on books and Internet sites to aid your research endeavors. The colloquy is a mix of readings, lectures, hands-on projects and discussions. Our major focus is investigating the history of the Blue Hill Peninsula and Maine, yet everyone interested in American history is invited.
Jan Eakins is a cultural historian and writer who has researched and lectured on Maine history for more than twenty years. She is presently writing A Chance World, Lost History of the Rush for California Gold, which draws on letters and diaries of more than 300 Mainers, some from the Blue Hill Peninsula.
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