Patrick and I have really begun to outline, concretely through our project site, what our final project on the Finns of New Hampshire is going to look like. We have begun to develop some specific pages and have decided that we want to make sure the navigation of the website makes sense so as to direct viewers through our story in a logical manner but also to separate different categories of the project so it is easy for a viewer to focus on a specific aspect of our project if they so choose. We plan to outline the background of Newport, New Hampshire before the Finns migration to the area to explain why it is they established their population there. We will also have page(s) dedicated to the Finnish experience in Newport upon and just after their arrival in the late 19th century. We will do our best to explore the lasting impact that they have had on Newport and possibly the entire state of New Hampshire and if necessary create a page for that evaluation. We also plan to compare and contrast Finnish migration to other towns and cities in New Hampshire (and Fitchburg, MA) to establish what it was, if there was anything, that was specifically unique to the relationship between Finns and Newport, New Hampshire. Some parts of our project that we are particularly excited about are the photo page and the lesson plans. The photo page will digitally post the photos we have obtained regarding the Finns in Newport that are and are not directly used throughout the site/project. The reason that we want to include this page other than for the enjoyment of looking at historical photos is to hopefully identify some of the unknown Finnish individuals in Newport, New Hampshire whom we have pictures of and want to make visible. Secondly, we are going to create and make lesson plans available on our site. They will be fully developed Social Studies lesson plans focused on Finnish Migration to New Hampshire. These lesson plans will be free for educators to access if they want to teach about their local migration history. They will be great for students to make connections with history and to work with primary sources. Not only does this create the potential for greater awareness of the cultural crossroads throughout New Hampshire history, but they also provide an interactive component to our research.
To get from one place to another you must, at the very least, take a step, metaphorically or literally. Even if those steps are small, they will take you somewhere.
Before we begin tracing my path, it is important to know that I am a student in a digital COPLAC course titled Cultural Crossroads where I am to conduct a semester long project concerning the immigration/migration history local to Keene, New Hampshire, among other things. To step into the world of this class you can look here.
My first step was research.
I began with little to no knowledge about my local immigration/ migration history and with just a small step, the typing of a few words, many paths have opened up for me to learn more.
At the Historical Society of Cheshire County I found the names of several presenters for a recent teacher workshop about the history of immigration in the Granite State. These presenters seem to have ample knowledge to share.
Without even reaching out to these experts and scholars I now know that there is a story to be told about Jewish immigration, French Canadian immigration, and Finnish immigration in New Hampshire. And reading the descriptions of these presentations here I now know that these groups of immigrations made impacts on my local culture and were also impacted by the culture of the Granite State.
So many directions to take my research already!
I wonder where I will go once I speak with some of these people, once I visit the Keene State College Archives, once I utilize other resources shared by the Historical Society of Cheshire County and by my professors!
So, my first reaction to the start of this COPLAC course is an overwhelming urge to start walking.
Keep following me for updates!