November 28, 2016
Local courthouse documents have provided a wealth of information on life in the early 1900s in central Pennsylvania—and have sparked an interest in historical research for Larry Herrold ’19.
“It was very enjoyable and something I could see myself doing for my entire life,” Herrold says.
The research is part of a project that he’s working on with Ed Slavishak, associate professor of history. Herrold reads through and interprets primary source documents from the 1900s to the 1940s—everything from liquor licenses to criminal records-and adds them to a spreadsheet.
“We’re working to build a local history of events from that time period. The work isn’t incredibly exciting as it’s mostly data collection, but the project overall is very interesting, and I have enjoyed being able to contribute to its foundations,” Herrold says.
Through the experience, he’s learned how to better understand and analyze sources.
“The amount of data that can be gathered on a single trip is mind-blowing. It certainly helped me to appreciate the existence of archives,” Herrold adds.