History Professor Catherine Stewart reviews archival material with students Hannah Robertson and Brad Kane

History major Brad Kane ’18 and English major Hannah Robertson ’18 will be participating in Cornell’s 2016 Summer Research Institute. Working under the direction of their faculty mentor Professor Catherine Stewart, and with the assistance of Brooke Bergantzel, Cornell’s instructional technology librarian, Brad and Hannah will research ten historic buildings on Cornell’s campus and create an online digital map and visual-audio tour.

This public history project in the digital humanities will connect Cornell’s past and present by juxtaposing historic images, documents, and stories about historic buildings on campus with contemporary views of buildings, enabling campus visitors as well as a website audience to see the buildings in historic and physical context, including architectural details and other unique aspects not easily accessed.

The students’ final project will contribute to Cornell’s collaboration with the Mount Vernon Historic Preservation Commission and the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group to develop self-guided public tours for three historic districts in Mount Vernon. The students are excited about the opportunity to conduct research in Cornell’s archives with the guidance of Professor Emeritus Richard H. Thomas (pictured with Hannah Robertson in the Cornell archives). Brad, who plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Library Science, is excited about the project.

“I love history and enjoy studying historical documents in particular,’ he says. “I hope to become an archivist and this project gives me a chance to get some additional experience in this field.”

Hannah, who is interested in a career in journalism, appreciates the opportunity to pair archival documents and photos with new technology.

“For me, the prospect of combining my passion for learning and penchant for using technology in a unique project such as this will allow me to continue to advance myself as well as leave something behind for others to use.”