Student research projects posted on City of Savannah Municipal Archives Website
In spring 2015, my Research Methods in Architectural History class dedicated its main research project to analyzing documents within the City of Savannah’s Research Library and Municipal Archives in order to compile a research guide for each topic. These guides are now available on their website. Each student selected a type of 19th-century municipal infrastructure — fire hydrants and water mains; municipal wharves; the rope walk; wells and pumps; street lighting; and the landscaping of the downtown squares — as their focus and conducted most of their research using the collections of the City’s municipal archive. Depending on the topic, the records they consulted dated from the late 18th century through to the early 20th century. Secondary research using online and library resources allowed each student to understand Savannah’s infrastructure within a larger context and in comparison to other cities. At the end of spring quarter, the students delivered a formal presentation to municipal staff members in the media room in City Hall. The research guides are now available online through the Municipal Archives website and are meant to help future researchers who may be interested in these topics understand the history of that type of infrastructure in Savannah.