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Citizen Historians and the Holocaust

Project Overview

This coming year, Tang Fellow Mary Mulligan will work with PA students on History Unfolded, a project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, DC. The project invites citizen historians, including teachers and students, to investigate American newspapers from 1933 to 1945 to determine what was being reported in the press about the treatment of Jews during these years.

By finding and reading newspaper articles, students will use primary sources to explore how the Holocaust was covered in the local and national press. When students find a newspaper article they will then upload it to the USHMM’s national database which focuses on 32-Holocaust-era events.

Together with colleagues in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) and the History & Social Sciences Department, Mulligan and PA students will consider important questions regarding 21st century journalism, including the construction of local and national narratives, the emergence of fake news, the verification of primary sources and accounts, and more. In spring of 2018, a group from PA will travel to the USHMM to view the new exhibit of which History Unfolded will be a key part.