My BHS Experience

The trip to BHS was not only informative but also eye opening, I never expected such detailed work to be preserved over such a long time.  Its not common these day to encounter such old artifacts right off the streets of Brooklyn.  The design of the hallways and rooms held a story of its own.  It gave off the feel of the past without seeing cheesy or fake so It made sense when the guides told us the place was used to shoot a show based on the 1920s.   During the first visit we were given an inside look of the older days in Brooklyn through images and text (Only The Dead Know Brooklyn).  For our second visit, we were presented with a journal kept by a slave owner and newspaper ads for runaway slaves.  All in all it was a great learning experience that most NYers should experience.  I would definitely return to BHS on my own time to look through their archive.

The past can never be known in its entirety (BHS experience)

Visiting the brooklyn historical society gave me a clear and factual perspective of how slaves were treated in this society. It allowed me to understand a lot about this wonderful community’s past and its significance to the country as a whole.

There were some surprising revelation during our discussions with the staff of the library. The fact that some streets were still named after slave owners even though this act was seen as barbaric and in human. I felt a kind of betrayal to the slaves, if these kinds of people are still remembered after these “evil” act.

I’ve always been curious about the names of some streets close to library. They are named after fruits(cranberry, pineapple,etc). I thought I could get answers at this library but unfortunately could not. The staff said they have tried to get those answers but all to no avail. This made me to make the conclusion that a society’s past can never be known in its entirety and sometimes the only things we know about the past are those things that the very few who were powerful wants the future generation to know.

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.

Bringing Fiction To Life At BHS.

Our class had the opportunity to visit the Brooklyn Historical Society and I believe our experiences there helped us each individually and collectively. Working with primary sources was a new experience for me but I appreciate what it helped me accomplish and what I was able to to take with from each trip. Our visits there¬†coincided¬†with our analysis of a specific text. The first trip helped us with our reading and understanding of “Only The Dead Know Brooklyn.” Seeing old railroad maps and photographs of Brooklyn seemed to enthuse the entire class because of the parallels we could make of Brooklyn then and now. I think that experience brought the reading to life for us, and made a fiction piece seem very realistic because of the familiarity the readers had with the setting. Our second and third trips to the Brooklyn Historical Society helped us with our study of¬†Beloved¬†by Toni Morrison. In this novel, along with another related text we deal with the issue of slavery and runaway slaves. We were able to look at transcripts of runaway slave ads and we studied all the¬†characteristics¬†of the documents, and the slaves. We also discovered some unique things previously undiscovered by our host who was more familiar with the documents. I really enjoyed the group work we were able to do. It gave us a chance to be more familiar with some of our classmates, and to share ideas and have meaningful conversations about themes being discussed in the class. I will always value my experience at the Brooklyn Historical Society because I think our time there was well spent, and it was an effective way to have us as students more engaged with our assigned material.

History Through Art & Words at BHS (My Experience)

During our class visits to the Brooklyn Historical Society I found myself getting more and more¬†enthralled¬†with the amazing atmosphere that the¬†building. When I walked into the building I felt like I had walked through a wormhole and was back in time in the library of a large manor home, expecting a lord of some sort to come in and ask me to leave. On our first day we met Robin Katz who stood out from everyone else in the way she spoke and her¬†apparent¬†display of knowledge. During our three visits we looked at articles pictures and¬†advertisements¬†that ranged in age from over five decades to almost two hundred years old. These primary sources were well preserved and displayed a great deal of information. It was like looking through a window through the fabric of time and seeing things from the point of view of people who lived before my time. One of the first things I saw at the BHS was a map of subway stations in¬†Brooklyn¬†that was over fifty years old. I was surprised to know that a lot of stations are still there today and some are even still in use. During our second and third visits we looked at different articles and¬†advertisements¬†pertaining to slaves. These were tough subjects to view and a lot of the things we looked at made me really angry. However I am glad that I got the chance to see these materials. In doing so I was able to learn and grow as a person and feel really good about the time we live in. I wouldn’t trade my experience there for anything. I also hope that I get the chance to go back and do some self-study research so that I can¬†appreciate¬†the entirety of what the BHS has to offer.

BHS Experience

There is one good thing about Brooklyn Historical Society Museum (BHS), and that is the Library on the 2nd Floor. I been to many museum but never seem a library inside the museum. The library on the 2nd FL is huge and it’s a great place for doing group projects, and class discussion and do research because all the resources in the BHS is primary and we get to see how the articles/documents looks at that time compare to today. For example, the runaway slaves ads is very small and there’s no picture of an actual slave on it, it just shows an icon of a man carrying a bag and a description of the slave. However, in today’s newspaper the ads will be post as “Missing Person” and a picture of an actual person instead of an icon, so it’s easy for people to recognize that missing person if they seen it somewhere.

It really surprised me that slavery existed in NY/Queens after I saw the runaway slaves ads at BHS because I thought slavery only existed in other states but not NY. After visiting BHS I learned that slavery can be everywhere and there’s a long history about it and I can find it in BHS if I’m interest in doing this research.

My Experience at the BHS

Visiting the Brooklyn Historical Society was a complete new experience for me because ive never went to a place where real primary sources were archived throughout the years and be able to use in research. its like a time machine and being able to peer into the past and see some of the past and how it was. it has also changed how i can do research and use primary sources to back up my thesis, or support an argument, or enhance a research paper. it has also changed how i view and read the book beloved and any other piece of literature that is in that time period and about slavery such as the “runaway slave profile” by Franklin/Schwninger it gave some examples and descriptions on how the slave owners put slave ads on newspapers and how they described them,whether they were dark skin, mulatto, etc and any other unique features that could identify the person in the ad. Even though they gave descriptions and how they did it and what the ads looked like it does not compare to actually physically seeing and and reading it for yourself what the ads looked like and what they contained. for example the caricature of a slave next to the ad to signify that it was a slave ad. many different things ive learned and experienced. it has changed how i look at primary sources and where to find them. i hope to return to the BHS in the future and take advantage of the primary sources


Visit to the BHS

The visits that we had  in BHS has totally effected my interest towards reading beloved and The runaway slaves  very positively . I always read about the run away slaves and the civil rights movement and other related topics but going to BHS got me more clear about the fact that it is more deep than it looks. On my first trip to BHS , with my group we looked at this add about this colored boy named David Smith who was a runaway slave .his physical descriptions  were not given .It gave me an idea that a master of a slave is responsible of every crime done by the slave . We had to compare the spry we read to Beloved and I realized that every human being is born free so when they are separated from their independence and looked up as a slave it is natural to run away . They might not know where to go but the only thing they know is they want freedom. But in our post we read something that explained that a slave was not owned for a life time some even had contracts with their masters for being a slave for a time period.

We got to work as a team for the presentation .This was the first time we did a group presentation in class. In order to do that we had to do team work. As a team we came up with important points and facts about the reading and adds we analyzed it helped us as a team as well as an individual . the entire work  that was done helped me a lot to understand the main essence of our reading . And it made reading Beloved way more interesting.

Visiting BHS

After visiting BHS, over the semester it has been a informal experience. Learning about how Brooklyn used to be and what it is now is amazing. I see all the neighborhoods and how much has stayed the same and also how much has changed. I got to see that Coney Island was still a place where people could enjoy themselves. Viewing the ads for the run away slaves,I had to pay close attention to the details that the slave-owners would write specific things about their slaves but the value for wanting them back was very low. It told me that there was a chance for that if the slave was returned that they would be killed or tortured.

Reading the letter for the slave asking his owner to buy his freedom was very different. One, because slaves weren’t educated and two most couldn’t buy their freedom because they didn’t have much money and three their owners wouldn’t allow it because they still wanted to keep them. Overall, after all my three visits to BHS i have gained alot of information that i would have never knew about without attending the class sessions held their. Presenting to the class was a good experience, it made me feel more comfortable to present in front of classmate because i knew what i would say. Group 6; was the group i was in and i believed that we worked great together and accomplished our goal.

New learning experiences

Overall, our¬†learning¬†experience visiting the Brooklyn Historical Society was absolutely wonderful. It was an amazing chance to be able to look at primary documents that have been preserved for hundreds of years, and that we are able to study those documents today. I have done many research projects in which I’ve had to use several resources, and the material at the BHS, ¬†though not for research purposes for our course, can be of very great use because most of them are primary documents. It is always great to research something and be able to use first hand materials in your research. The two visits in which we looked at runaway slave advertisements were very interesting because i have read a lot about slavery in many history classes in the past and about those ads that owners would put up in newspapers for their slaves, but i¬†hadn’t actually seen an image of one, let alone the original newspaper it was published in. Another interesting experience I got from our visits to the BHS was being able to explore some of Brooklyn, and look at some of the streets there and see images of how it looked in the past. I grew up in the Williamsburgh part of Brooklyn so it was¬†definitely¬†interesting looking at what streets made up my neighborhood now and then.

The group work that we did at the BHS was very comfortable. Even though the members of our group were not all familiar with each other, we were still able to work together and deliver our presentation effectively. The groups were not so big in size so this made things more easier both while coming up with the material to present, and at the time of the oral presentations at the BHS. Everyone had a clear idea of what their task in the group was, and what they had to do so we all worked together and contributed equally to the effort put forth to complete our presentation.

I have to say that it was a wonderful experience being able to travel to the Brooklyn Historical Society, admire its architectural work, and see some of the projects that our fellow students from City Tech created at their fellowship. I liked working with the material they had set up for us, and it was a great learning experience overall.

New Learning Experience at BHS

Visiting Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) was completely a new learning experience for us. We visited BHS three times and each time there were something new and interesting to learn. In our first visit we got opportunity to know little more about Brooklyn‚Äôs history through the maps and photographs dated century back. We made this visit when we were reading ‚ÄúOnly The Dead Know Brooklyn‚ÄĚ by Thomas Wolfe. Then our recent two visits to BHS were focused on the slavery time period. These visits were based on our readings; ‚ÄúBeloved‚ÄĚ by Toni Morrison and ‚ÄúRunaway Slaves‚ÄĚ by John Franklin and Loren Schweninger. In these visits we looked at the journals and newspaper ads of owners whose slaves ran away from them. These two visits were different than the first visit because we worked in groups to learn the materials. We also did a presentation for other group members and BHS staff members based on our ideas and observations. All those primary resources, group works, and most importantly the co-operative staff members of BHS enhanced our overall experience at BHS.

Brooklyn Historical Society

I’ve never actually visited any places that are like Brooklyn historical society. So it was quite a new experience for me and an interesting visit to Brooklyn Historical Society has educated me on a lot things. For instance, Brooklyn evolution, runaway slaves, and has also increased my research skills. In our first visit to Brooklyn Historical Society, we were learning about Brooklyn. I have learned a lot that day. First thing I learned was that Bensonhurst which is a place in Brooklyn is located near Cony Island. Moreover, there was also a beach picture, which one may say the people in that generation cover up more as oppose to nowadays when you go to the beach people Are almost clothe-less. I also learn that some places and streets in Brooklyn that’s from the 1900’s and are still remains the same, one of which is Brooklyn College.

Furthermore, in my second visit to BHS, I have learned about runaway slaves. In our second we had to work as a group rather than working individually. Therefore, I also learn about teamwork. In my group, we were giving runaways slaves ads to look at and to compare. One thing I have learned is that even though    they were slaves, they were treated differently because of their skin color. Therefore, those who had a yellowish skin complexion tend to have more privilege, they tend to be more literate and have more decent jobs such as barber, waitress, etc.. BHS is a very good place to visit because it holds a lot of historical information that one might need or want to explore. I enjoyed my times being there and hope to come back on of these days.

My Experience at BHS

I enjoyed our visits to the Brooklyn Historical Society. Ive never been there before so i did not know what to expect. Although we only got to look at a few pieces, i learned a lot from our visits. During our first visit we were reading “Only The Dead Know Brooklyn”, and so we got a chance to look at the history of Brooklyn. We saw maps of the borough of Brooklyn that showed streets, where the train and railroads crossed, and also noted many differences of Brooklyn today. From the map, we noticed that places that are now a part of Queens, were once in Brooklyn. This experience was cool because i didn’t think i could get my hands on primary sources like these. During our second visit, we looked at slave advertisements during the time we were reading “Beloved”. While reading the advertisements I understood the terms used to describe them because it was defined in the book. The slave ad that we saw at our table was in a newspaper from 1825, and the newspaper was still in good condition which was interesting to know it was well preserved and that i had the pleasure of reading it. In the last visit to BHS, we had a second chance to look at the same slave ads and we had to present. It was a nice experience since we didnt see everyone’s ads, but we got to hear what they saw. Overall, it was a intriguing experience.

Experience at BHS

My visit to BHS was very exciting because I learned many things which i didnt know before. During my first encounter at BHS we learned many new things about Brooklyn such as, long before i was born there were railroad tracks on the streets we drive on currently. The maps were very different now then it was before. The second visit to BHS we learned about how runaway slaves were put on newspaper ads and there was a list description of which specify the runaway slave. Slaves were treated very harshly. It was eye opening experiencing at BHS because we were able to inspect certain materials first hand. Overall it was a great learning experience and i look forward to going back at BHS again in the near future.

Experience at BHS

My experience has been great at Brooklyn Historical Society. I have had the opportunity to see and touch primary sources that people arent able to see. I think thats something special that not everyone gets to do. Prior to this class, i had already gone to the BHS. With the experience i had with with the first time, i’d have to say that this second experience was better. It’s better because since we’re reading beloved, we were able to see in more detail how slavery impacted in Brooklyn. This opened my eyes to realize that New York was always impacted by slavery, not in a way like the South was, but in a different way i didn’t think of before. On those two days i went, i was able to see newspaper advertisements on runaway slaves. Those advertisements described the slaves and granted rewards for them if they were found and returned to their “masters”. It bothered me when i saw these newspaper ad’s because they were treated like a piece of property, like an in-animate object being misplaced or whatever they were viewed as. I believe that going to BHS has helped me better understand how life was for the African American Slaves back in the centuries previous to ours.I have always somewhat enjoyed working in¬† groups for projects in classes, but i can say that working in groups for class in BHS helped my group oand i get along with each other and hear each other out when it¬†came to ideas about the things we saw at BHS.This experience helped me understand a little bit more on the¬†history of the U.S and appreciate the artifacts that are preserved for future generations to come.