Well, the semester is finally done, and we’re wrapping up our projects from the year. Here are updates from two of our graduate researchers on what they’ve accomplished!
Amy: During the fall semester, I continued to research sustainability on the historic campus. I tried to pick up where Jennifer Bengtson and I had left off in Spring 2012, but my direction changed somewhat after going to University Archives with a new plan. Rather than looking for Board of Trustees minutes or food receipts, I spent the semester reading the Presidents’ Papers and tracking down references contained within these documents. Many of the references were useful in terms of filling out information about campus transportation and student experience. I was surprised to discover how many documents alluded to or explicitly concerned local and state-wide conceptions of the early campus.
My plan is to continue to follow this thread, tracking down information about the relationship between the early campus community and local and state officials; I believe that if I can identify points of contention or “sea changes” in the attitudes of the university community and those outside it, I can link this information to the archaeological materials excavated by CAP. Perhaps we can start to reconstruct, with greater detail, the points of time when the college moved from a faltering entity to a sustainable unit, and finally to a expansive operation dependent on outside resources. To this end, I will continue research in the University Archives next semester looking specifically for documents that aid in understanding food, energy, and transportation. With Dr. Goldstein, Jennifer Bengtson, and Katy Meyers, I will begin to draft an article detailing our sustainability work for submission to an appropriate journal.
Sylvia: The fall 2012 semester marked the beginning of my involvement with the Campus Archaeology Program as a graduate researcher. In short, the Campus Archaeology Program kept my colleagues and me quite busy this semester. Some of my personal highlights from my experiences as a Campus Archaeology researcher include: participating in this year’s intensive survey of Saints Rest; and mapping abandoned structures slated for demolition (see one of my previous blog posts for my information on this). Also this semester, I got to do something I’ve never done before: archival research.
Between now and the rest of the academic year, I will continue “digging” into MSU dissertations and theses in an attempt to generate additional resources for the Campus Archaeology Program. In particular, I am compiling a database that includes information about dissertations and theses of which MSU and/or aspects of MSU were the study of inquiry. Campus Archaeology will then use this information when necessary to augment the research agendas of the staff.