A week in Massachusetts for student research

By Jordan Stenger |
Staff writer

Augusta University student’s Zhenya Townley and Jordan Stenger pose outside of the American Antiquarian Society with Dr. Van Tuyll. (photo by Zhenya Townley)

When I was first offered the chance to travel to the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) in Massachusetts and spend the week sifting through historical documents in the heart of one of the most historic states in America, I jumped at the chance.

Thanks to an experiential learning grant, I have been able to enjoy one of the most impactful educational experiences of my college career.

The American Antiquarian Society is located in Worcester, Mass., an hour outside of Boston in a busy but historic city and its archive is a treasure trove of American history. Each morning we would wake up and get ready for another nine to five day at the archive searching for newspapers, books, and other documents to lend information for our respective research projects.

Not only were we able to spend time surrounded by the early history of the United States, but we also made a trip to Maine to visit the Fort Williams lighthouse and experience a mild January in New England.

Since the AAS has an extensive online catalog filled with a variety of databases, it further added to the learning experience as it was amazing to know that at my fingertips I could find, order, and then hold the original publication of an antique document.

I found that having the opportunity to experience, research, and personally handle these antique documents was so rewarding.

These writings have survived for hundreds of years, influencing their own time and inspiring modern-day researchers to study them for a better understanding of life in the past. I am very grateful to have had this experience and can only encourage other students to take advantage of these research opportunities when they arise. It may gift you the research trip of a lifetime.

Contact Jordan Stenger at jstenger@augusta.edu

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