Kennedy Pope ’15 is working with the Oneida County Historical Society to further their mission to “collect, preserve and make accessible the past heritage of Oneida County and the upper Mohawk River Valley.” Through the Summer Field School, Kennedy is organizing and researching objects in their collection related to marketing and is developing a website that will provide a retrospective look at Genesee Street and the businesses that have operated on the street in the past.
Kennedy has also worked to digitize issues of the Utica Morning Herald newspaper and is adding information about the society’s artifacts to a digital database. These projects allow the resources at the society to be used more easily by researchers. These digitization projects are helping to streamline access to information about the history of the county and allow people to see objects that may not currently be on display in the museum.
As a history major at Colgate, Kennedy has experience in historical research and knows how to interpret historical documents. These skills have been helpful for this project, which involves research on unidentified objects. The project is building Kennedy’s research skills as well, and is giving her the opportunity to learn more about the daily operations of a museum and a historical preservation society. It is also giving her experience in one potential career path that she may pursue after graduation, and showing her a practical application of her history major. Finally, it is teaching her about the value of volunteerism in the community. “Seeing how passionate all the volunteers are about history has been great,” says Kennedy, “because they’ve shown me how the study of history can exist beyond the classroom. “