The Smell of the Ancient

My first impression of the Brooklyn Historical Society was the exterior. The intricate design all around the building defiantly made me think ” This is a antique structure”. My first impression inside the lobby of the building was that it actually smelled antique, due to the wood and all the old paper in the building. We had a brief introduction with the historians and heading up the stairs, what i noticed is that its all wood and  squeaks plenty; which is super cool because that only adds to the vintage atmosphere of the construction. As we made our way into the actual library; which is a landmark of its own we settled in three groups and had a general discussion about archives and certain rules that need to be followed in the library. Shortly after the historians announced the topic of the session; The Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Each group was given a piece/pieces of archives to examine and discuss in in-depth relation to the Ship Yard. My group analyzed pictures of the Navy Ship Yard as early as Nineteen o’five to the late seventies. The most interesting picture we saw was a perspective photo which is a overview of Brooklyn from the Manhattan side of the river. Our first step was to try to figure out what year the picture was taken. What we did is state when the Brooklyn Bridge was build which meant it cant be any earlier then 1883. Then we saw the Williamsburg Bridge in the back which we knew was opened in 1903 so that narrowed us down to a time line. Overall the picture was very interesting because it portrayed  the transition. Two-three story buildings where the tallest buildings during that period of time. We also looked at photos of Ship Yard workers and how the staff went from women of all races during the World War to a variety of black and Hispanic men in the 70s; post segregation. The main idea that we focused on was how to analyze the pictures and find out critical information from them. Another very important aspect that we focused on was the transition in time. Its fascinating if you thurley analyze it.

I had a great time in The Brooklyn Historical Society simply because i am all about the past and antique things. I loved the lay out of the library. It is all wood and dark looking; with plenty of historical mysteries.


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2 Responses to The Smell of the Ancient

  1. ftejeda says:

    I was wondering ,when it comes to the topic of analyzing the photographs of the Brooklyn Navy Yard , during the 70s did the group apply a different strategy to determine its age? or did the group utilized the same type of strategies used to determine the older images?

  2. zhik says:

    The main idea for analyzing photos is very basic. Its all in the industrial revolution. You look and see what is it that this photo contains. And when where these things created. We analyzed to see when the bridges where built. We used the same technique for the 70s we looked at the back ground of the workers to see whats already out there. We also looked at the tone and quality of the photo which gave a good idea.

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