Your goal here is to write a 7-10 page (1,750-2,500-word) essay (including footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography) that in some small way answers the question “how did immigrants experience Georgia?” or “how did Georgians respond to immigrants?” I say “in a small way” because trying to answer those questions for all immigrants to Georgia or for all Georgians would involve writing a multi-volume encyclopedia if it were possible at all (I doubt it). Just as you’re currently using one family’s emigration letters to discuss a tiny slice of Irish immigration history, you’re looking for a small source or set of sources that will let you get at a little slice of Georgia’s immigration history. You want to pick a tiny topic but say something really interesting about it. When we add all these papers together at the end of the semester, we’ll have learned a lot.
This will be primary research informed by secondary reading (aka history!). If you’ve never done this before, don’t panic; you’ll have help along the way. The archivists over at Special Collections, the librarians at the Main Library, and I will help you find both sorts of sources.
SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES AND DEADLINES
Thursday, September 14, 2017 SCL Room 329
We’ll start by meeting at Special Collections on Thursday, September 14th. Archivists Jill Severn and Chuck Barber will pull some examples of sources for you to look at and discuss but there are lots more there. In fact, there are multiple archives within the Special Collections building that have lots of relevant sources.
Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies has a huge collection of 20th century materials, especially Georgia politicians’ papers. Those will include letters from constituents, some of which will concern immigration. So, for example, you might be able to investigate how Georgians responded to the arrival of Cuban refugees in the 1980s (the so-called refugees of the “Mariel Boatlift), some of whom were detained in Georgia. There are also recorded oral interviews with immigrants in the Oral History Collection that you could use as sources. The Russell has 21 boxes of records of the Georgia Project, which was an innovative organization designed in the 1990s to smooth the integration of Latino/a children, whose parents came to work in Dalton’s carpet factories. That collection is way too big for any one of you to tackle alone but you could focus on an interesting file within the collection or tackle a chunk of it with some of your fellow students if you don’t mind working together. In fact, you could all work on that topic, if you’d like to (I recognize that some people hate group projects). Note: whether you work alone or in groups, you will each turn in an original paper.
In the same building, the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library will have 18th and 19th century materials (plus 200,000 books on Georgia!). Also, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection will have some audiovisual materials that relate to immigration in Georgia and the U.S. in its WSB Newsfilm collection and the Peabody Awards Collection.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017, SCL Room 329
On the 19th of September, we’ll go back to Special Collections to look for sources. After a brief overview of how to search and request from Jill and Chuck, you will have time to start searching and browsing for your own primary source materials. If you’ve already found something that interests you, you can sit and read your source or help someone else look for sources.
Thursday, September 21, 2017|
Main Library orientation
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Turn in a one-page prospectus including a bibliography.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Draft of paper due.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Final paper is due.
Keep in mind that when time is of the essence, it’s usually easier to find a cool source and then figure out what to say about it, than it is to pick a topic and see what you’ll find (sometimes you find nothing). Avoid goose chases.
STYLE and CONTENT REQUIREMENTS:
CITATION STYLE GUIDELINES
Follow Chicago Manual of Style and refer to Russell Library Citation Guide for detailing important elements to include in a citation so that others may access the same materials you have used as evidence.