Our agenda for the July 1 meeting focused on our individual research projects and an update from the research team. Before we began our discussion, we welcomed a visitor — Anna Kijas from the University of Connecticut. Anna is interested in the Developing Librarian Project as a model for UCONN and a new initiative to support digital scholarship projects. We gave Anna the floor to hear more about her interest in our project and how they are moving forward at UCONN. She is involved with the Scholar’s Collaborative which was approved in December 2013 as a permanent service to help faculty and students with digital projects. Most of the projects have been focused in humanities disciplines but they also work with researchers in the social sciences and sciences. Anna helped to to set up a program for subject specialists to learn new skills related to digital scholarship. The format of the program included six workshops throughout the year. We look forward to staying in touch with Anna and sharing developments as we move forward with the Developing Librarian.
We moved to the agenda as planned and presented on our individual research topics.
Mary Cargill: I am researching the Leake and Watts Orphan asylum because I want to find out the criteria for identifying and the treatment of orphans in order for the reader to understand how New York treated the growing populations of needy children.
Nancy Friedland: I am researching St. Luke’s Hospital because I want to find out why it located in Morningside Heights and explore the hospital’s relationship to Columbia University in order for my reader to understand the role of a hospital to a community and development as a teaching hospital.
Alex Gil: I am researching the history of residential and business changes on 110th Street around the turn of the century because I want to find out the impact that Columbia and St. John’s had on southern Morningside Heights in order for my reader to understand to what extent these institutions shaped modern day everyday life in Morningside Heights.
Karen Green: I am researching the Lion Brewery because I want to find out how it operated, for how long, and by whom, as well as how it figured in neighborhood and city life
in order for my reader to understand the role of a major commercial/industrial entity in the development of Morningside Heights.
Meredith Levin: I am researching the history of Riverside Church, focusing especially on its visual culture, the Weekday School, and its involvement in WWII because I want to find out how the church’s relationship with the Morningside Heights community has evolved over time in order for my reader to understand how diverse groups of people are connected to the daily activities of Riverside Church, which has been important presence in the neighborhood since it was founded 80 years ago.
Anice Mills: I am researching the history of Riverside Park because I want to find out how the value of public parks (as sanctuary, open space) influenced urban culture in order for my reader to understand the development of the Morningside Heights community within the larger urban environment.
Nick Patterson: I am researching the IRT subway line’s history, because I want to find out about its history and development in Morningside Heights, from inception to 1950, in order for my reader to understand how this development impacted Morningside Heights, through a focus on the subway stops at 110th, 116th, and 125th streets.
Bob Scott: I am researching the history of the Bloomingdale Asylum, focusing especially on the positive and negative elements in its functioning as one of the leading psychiatric institutions in 19th-century America and on its role in shaping the early environment of Morningside Heights in order to give readers a clearer and more lively picture of this neighborhood in the “pre-Columbian” era.
John Tofanelli: I am researching the history of the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine because I want to find out how the significance of the cathedral was described and how its design was envisioned and realized from 1892 (when its cornerstone was laid) through 1946 (when Bishop William Thomas Manning retired) in order for my reader to understand how the cathedral was variously envisioned during the period in which most of its building was completed.
Sarah Witte: I am researching the Croton Aqueduct 113th Street gatehouse (1876) and the adjacent Engine Company No. 47 firehouse(1890) to learn more about the infrastructure development in the 19th century that supported the growth of our neighborhood in order for my reader to understand the the role that the aqueduct and the fire department played in the early development of the neighborhood. I am also very interested in learning how to parse census data for our neighborhood, so may also look at census data for the entire block of 113th Street from Amsterdam to Broadway before 1900.
Next on the agenda, Mary Cargill reported for the Research Team. She is available to meet with anyone as a consultation to review the literature in our individual subjects. She came prepared with excellent resources for everyone in attendance. She reported that she met with Anice to discuss Riverside Park and reported on a productive research session.
Mary will meet with Bob, Nancy and John to review Zotero as the best citation management system for arranging the bibliography for the final project.