Cook the Archives

Went to a great conference this week, put on by the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan: Teaching Undergraduates with Archives.

I gave a presentation on the creative project from my Great Depression and World War II class, where students cooked a historic meal using a U.S. Department of Agriculture cookbook.

My conclusion:

So my point is this: History classes are not only for historians, but a wide range of students. Creatively teaching the archives helped me add doors into my subject, access points to the project of historical thinking. So consider this a testimonial and also an encouragement to think of inventive ways to do the thing we do. Teach the archives! Yes. Also cook them, eat them, wear them, build them, grow them, or anything else that will grab students and show them what history can do.