ENGL 1101: Fire, Disease, Disaster: Catastrophe and the Shaping of Public Space

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    Today at the Brooklyn Historical Society my group went through old receipts and letters from around the time that the Brooklyn Theater fire happened. It was so far my favorite part of the archives because we were able to interact hands-on with documents that where over a hundred years old! rReading the hand writing on the documents was at times a bit of a challenge, but with time and care my partner and I were able to make out the sentences. Many of the victims from the fire where very poor, and lost pretty much everything for money to family in the incident. An association helped the victims by interviewing them, and donating money according to their needs to help out. Back then people did not make much money and stayed in families to survive with everyone helping each other out. In a couple of the interviews I read I could see that the parents had at least five kids that they left behind which just made me feel very sad for them. Today was a very interesting day and I learned a lot, I am excited to go again.


    Brooklyn Historical Society

    Today at the Brooklyn Historical society, I learned how to browse through the whole of the archives using a computer. The search engine is not as powerful or as high tech as the google search engine so we had to use different kinds of kew words to get to what we needed. We where looking for anything that could gives a picture or just information about the brooklyn historical society museum. With the help of one of the very helpful ladies we navigated through the system and found a couple of photographs that showed the brooklyn museum before and after the fire. We also found information of the memorial for the fire, which was built to honor the memory of all the unidentified victims. It a very interesting session because it showed how practical a combination of both technology and old antique documents can be.

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