Experiences from visiting BHS

On our first visit to the BHS, the people there are very passionate about their job. They spent time explaining what is the BHS is about and told us the many documents in BHS are from historical time. They also explained to us how important it is to follow their rules in the BHS because they don’t want anyone to bring damages to any documents inside the library. Most of the documents in the BHS are from very long time ago so the qualities of the document can be very poor and easy to damage or ripped. When we got inside the library, we have to sign in and make sure we don’t use pens or markers in the library. We have to wear gloves if we are going to have contacts with the photos. Then we sit on the chairs with different sets of tables. On the desk we saw different documents with photos. The documents were pictures of Brooklyn in back then. First document we saw was a map of Brooklyn back then. It has the name of the streets. Second document was a picture of a train station in 71st Street Station, west end line.  The picture was from 1958. The third document was a picture of view of the beach at Coney Island in 1958. All the pictures were black and white color. The first visit helped me understand and learned about how Brooklyn was like in long time ago. Most of the places in the photos changed nowadays.

On the second visit of BHS, the staffs there again reminded us the rules of the BHS. This time we sit at different sets of tables again. And we have different documents from last time. The document on our table is a newspaper from 1825. It is a newspaper with different kinds of advertisements. The ad we have to look for is an ad section which talks about the runaway slave. The readings we read for class were about the slaves. The reading Runaway Slave Profile and the newspaper we had on the table were about the runaway slave.  It talks about how much the owner of the slave reward for the ones who find and return their slave. On the newspaper, it describes the characteristics of the slave. After the second visit, I learned more about the slavery. For example, the owner reward to people who find the runaway slaves because some of the slaves have different kind of skills. Different slaves with different skills have different values, some worth 25 dollars and some worth 6 cents.

On our last visit, we have to present what documents we saw from our tables to the class. Overall, the experiences from visiting the BHS gave me a lot of new information about the history of Brooklyn and the slave from long time ago. I learned a lot about the histories.

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