Bury Burning Brooklyn: Our BHS Research

Q&A by Adam,Fernando,Freddy,Juliana P.,Kevin V., Miguel L., Rayan R. and Ronny A.

1. a. what kinds of questions did each of the three stations(archival documents, image dtabases, maps/atlases) bring up? 1.b what kind of information did you find?


  • Who wrote the notes/receipts in the archives?
  • Where is the atlas?(there was a missing atlas?)
  • How can we make our database searching easier?
  • How do people make it easier to decipher handwriting?
  • What other aspects beside fires affected the way brooklyn changed so quickly over short spans in time?


  • It cost around four times more to bury people than their salary was while they lived.
  • A visual aspect of how the streets changed by spacing and adding more streets.
  • Stereographs that could provide a cheap 3d visual effect of what something looked like.
  • Over the course of ten years before and after the fire Brooklyn changed at a rapid rate. It seemed to change more back then then it does now.


2. how did the questions/ information relate to one another?

  • they related to the brooklyn theatre fire
  • they were different representations of similar information.(visual vs text)
  • the information cam from different sources in different points of view

3. given what you have seen and explored come up with three questions for further research.

  • why is it so hard to find info on the brooklyn fire
  • where did they keep bodies before they were buried?
  • why were they buried a year later?

4. For each of those three questions lay out at least 1. or 2 of the first steps you might take to bein answering them.

  • look for other diff sources¬† e.g. sources that aren’t directly linked to the disaster.
  • ask other (old) libraries for information
  • ask historians
  • go to a larger or different archive
  • find and ask descendants for information (old photographs, letters, journals etc)
  • look for government documents directly related or roughly related to the fire



5. How BHS research relates to our current studies

  • emergency exits are necessary
  • spacing between buildings helps prevent the spread of fire
  • some materials are fire resistant. other materials can be treated to resist fire or reduce its flammability.
  • exit plans are necessary and even maps are added into buildings to show these exits
  • precautions against fires and other natural disasters are are taken into account when a building is erected
  • there is a maximum occupancy set for every room and floor of a building.
  • there are laws that architects and engineers are require to follow in order prevent disasters
  • there are whole manuals and lists of what materials and how they react with fire provided to architects and engineers.
  • there are companies like UL that evaluate every single product made, including building materials (fire safety e.g. fire resistance) , for the ¬†benefit of public safety.


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