Launching Explore Boston History, a Curatescape Project

Tourists and city residents alike want high-quality, engaging historical information about buildings, sites, and events. Explore Boston History will provide users with historical information researched and written by students and faculty at Wentworth Institute of Technology. We will be researching Boston history and using digital tools to share our findings directly with the public.

Students in Professor Howard’s History of Boston class will work in teams of three to select a location to add to the website. Each student will write an individual research paper of approximately five pages (1250 words) examining an aspect of the location. The paper should draw upon at least three solid sources. At least two of the sources should be books or articles from scholarly journals. A terrific online resource available through the Schumann Library is the Avery Index to Architecture Periodicals (Research –> Online resources –> Avery Index to Architecture Periodicals).One of the sources can be from a historic newspaper. Finding newspapers is explained here.

The sources must be cited in the paper. The citations can be done using any reputable citation system. The paper will be submitted in Blackboard.

The team will then work together to workshop the individual papers and draft the entry for Curatescape. The Curatescape entry will be between 500 and 600 words. Formatting guidelines are available here.

Please note that pasting in text from Microsoft Word or another word processor will create problems unless you first paste the text into Notepad or another plain text editor to strip out the formatting. The text can then be entered into Curatescape.

Content guidelines are available here. Information on creating a story can be found here.

Each entry will include supplemental files. These files can be photographs or other materials from the public domain or original photographs taken by the research team. Public domain images may be found in the Boston Municipal Archives Flickr stream. They may also be found in the Historic Architecture Building Survey, housed at the Library of Congress. Wikimedia is another source that can be used, as well as the Internet Archive. You may also wish to check Creative Commons. For any item used, be sure that no copyright restrictions or permissions apply. Be sure to provide full citation information, especially if a Share and Share Alike license is in place.

To see models of the entries we are writing, visit Spokane Historical and Cleveland Historical, two existing Curatescape projects. Reading a handful of entries on each site will give you a clear idea of the structure, tone, and overall nature of these entries.