A History Detective

Earlier this week I was interviewed about my job by two people who work in another field. It’s very difficult sometimes to explain WHY history is so interesting and important and why those of us who study history love it so much. To truly understand, you have to come on a tour or come and hang out with us or work along-side us as we do our jobs. But that’s not very practical. So I thought with today’s blog I’d share with you some of the fun stuff.

A very kind person donated to us a large number of her family’s documents – wedding certificates, passports, photographs and more. Each document provides a small piece of a story about a family leaving Italy and making their home in southern Alberta. We are using these documents as part of an Archives kit where students, working as historians, go through the documents and use the documents to build this family’s history.

For some people this probably sounds like the worst kind of torture. For a historian – actually getting the opportunity to touch and go through these documents is FUN, CHALLENGING and EDUCATIONAL. It’s like being a history detective – you have to follow the clues to find the story. Through the document you can see how people’s names change, how families change and form, how people’s jobs and education change over their lifetime and you have a glimpse of whether or not their expectations of their new homeland were met – either in their generation or by their children.

That’s all I’m telling you about this family. Below are some of the documents. If you have questions or think you figured out the story and want to brag, get in touch with me.