Summer Research in New York City
I walked through Washington Square Park, Taylor Swift’s Welcome to New York playing in my ears, and thought to myself: I could really get used to living in New York City.
I wasn’t living in New York City. I was visiting my brother for the weekend while interning in Massachusetts. Besides visiting his office at Squarespace and going to Chinatown for dinner, I spent some time doing preliminary research for my senior seminar at the Center for Jewish History.
Thankfully, I had spoken with my assigned librarian about my plans to visit the Center for Jewish History before I went, so I wasn’t completely overwhelmed when I stepped inside and was confronted with stacks upon stacks of resources and books relating to everything and anything about Jews and their history.
I began by requesting five books that seemed relevant to my topic. They were brought to me, and I sat in the reading room, going through chapter after chapter, looking for relevant material to my topic. It was difficult– especially because I’m doing new research and a lot of my work is connecting sources rather than interpreting evidence already registered.
I managed to find some really great sources, including an annotated bibliography that proved to be tremendously helpful. But more so, I saw what my future might be if I pursue history and public history as a profession.
It was so much fun, to do research and read and find sources that might maybe work. It was like a scavenger hunt, but more fun and rewarding. I could so easily see myself, living in New York City, doing research and writing books and producing enjoyable history for the masses.
Each step I take in my senior seminar research, I get closer to writing my 25-page thesis paper. But I also grow closer to finding my future career path, and what history means for me and my future.