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History Major Explores Costa Rica’s National Archives

20160724_084820During this past summer, I participated in a study-abroad program in San Jose, Costa Rica where I studied Spanish and explored the local culture. I conducted research at the Archivo Nacional (National Archives) in San Jose, Costa Rica, sponsored by BGSU’s Center of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. The primary focus of my research concerned the racial inequality in the New Spain army during the eighteenth century. The research required reviewing historic military recruitment records at the Archivo Nacional called filiaciones.

Before arriving in Costa Rica I had two concerns. First, I was not confident that the archives would have the military records I required. Second, reading and interpreting the historic records would be difficult since my Spanish is not very strong. I have found that as a researcher, there are times when you’re lucky, and other times unlucky. Fortunately, in this case, I was lucky that the support staff at the Archivo Nacional spoke fluent English and was very helpful. The Archivo Nacional retained and made available to me nearly two hundred individual soldier filiaciones. The records that I analyzed were over three hundred years old. I spent several days at the national archives reviewing the documents, and collecting and analyzing the data.

For anyone who has considered conducting research at a foreign archive, I would highly recommend it. The administrators and staff at the Archivo Nacional de Costa Rica were anxious to share their history with me, especially as it related to my academic research project. Not only did I learn a lot inside the Archivo Nacional but also I learned a lot outside of the archives by simply talking to the Costa Ricans. My advice for history students is to explore the world and learn different types of history from different sources. Each country holds their own history, and it is up to you to explore it.

Matthew Wright (History senior). Edited by Nicole Farley (History senior)

Carter Historic Farm, a place to see in Bowling Green

The following is a brief introduction to Carter Historic Farm written by Michael Kopchu, a freshman in the History major who just visited the place as part of his freshman seminar, BGSU 1910, “Are We What We Eat?” The farm is a recent endeavor in the region and is managed by Wood County Parks. Nicole Farley, History senior contributed with editing the piece. 

Carter Historic Farm is a farm dedicated to the farming practices of the 1930’s. It focuses on the average farm during the Great Depression and farming techniques of that era. When you first pull up it does not seem like much, but with a closer inspection it is a lively place full of history. It has buildings from the 1930’s that are in original condition, and the house exhibits many donated artifacts. Interestingly, the house itself is not original to the farm. The Carter Family moved it from a different location after the first one burnt down. This farm has many small details that make it worth visiting.

Main barn in Carter Historic Farm

Tim Gaddie, the site coordinator, is trying to recreate the old ways of making food at Carter Farm and plan on letting people taste test the food people made in that period. When I visited the farm with my freshman seminar, the site coordinator already had a few jars of food including pickled watermelon rinds. They have programs on preparing maple syrup, and other forms of family food production characteristics of the food traditions of northwest Ohio farmers. In the next few years they plan on reintroducing some farm animals including chickens, goats, and sheep. In the next ten years they want to also bring cows, pigs, and work horses back. They want to use the horses to help them farm the land in the ways used in the 1930’s.

Carter Historic Farm is a great historic farm to go visit with a rich history and many ambitious plans for the future that will make it even more amazing. This farm is worth going to and learning the history of it and in the future many people will be able to learn how people in the Great Depression era lived and worked. I would recommend it to any fan of American History.

(From the advisor’s desk: Carter Historic Farm welcomes interns and volunteers. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Mancuso, coordinator of internships, at

Trustee Bruce Nyberg Meets the History Department

On Thursday, September 29, National Trustee Bruce Nyberg visited the History Department.  Mr. Nyberg is a retired banker  and philanthropist from Michigan who graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1968 as a Business and History double major. In his last year he worked closely with Professor Gary Hess and other history faculty. In his biographical note after his appointment as a trustee, Mr. Nyberg emphasized how critical his history training was in shaping his attitudes. (An informative profile of Trustee Nyberg here.)

The morning started with Nyberg and other trustees sitting in on Dr. Benjamin Greene’s course on the Vietnam War. After the class, Nyberg walked to Williams Hall and had coffee with a group of about fifteen undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty members.  It was a lively exchange that ranged from the Vietnam War, to the role of the humanities in the present-day higher education landscape.  As a former student, Nyberg shared stories of his experiences at Bowling Green State University during the late sixties, a time of strong political activism on campus.  Citing his background in business and history, Nyberg reinforced that both economics and the humanities can benefit an overall world view and inform a successful career.  We all appreciated Nyberg’s passion for a liberal arts education and this opportunity for a fruitful dialogue.

This contribution was written by Lindsey Bauman, second year M.A. student, and Amílcar Challú, Associate Professor of History.

2016 Excellence in History Awards

President Joe Lueck initiates this year's group of inductees into the Gamma Upsilon chapter of Phi Alpha Theta.

President Joe Lueck initiates this year’s group of inductees into the Gamma Upsilon chapter of Phi Alpha Theta.

Joe Lueck presents research that won the Outstanding Graduate Seminar Paper award.

Joe Lueck presents research that won the Outstanding Graduate Seminar Paper award.

Dr. Amilcar Challu presents senior Elizabeth Hile with the Outstanding Senior in History award.

Dr. Amilcar Challu presents senior Elizabeth Hile with the Outstanding Senior in History award.

Dr. Rebecca Mancuso presents senior Allison Francis with the Undergraduate Research Excellence in History award.

Dr. Rebecca Mancuso presents senior Allison Francis with the Undergraduate Research Excellence in History award.

On April 22, the History Department held its annual Excellence in History awards presentation the Bowen Thompson Student Union.  The event celebrates the excellent work done by undergraduate and graduate students in the department.  In addition, the department’s chapter of the honor society Phi Alpha Theta initiates new members at this event.  Allison Francis, who received the department’s Undergraduate Research Excellence in History award, gave a presentation based on her senior capstone research paper, “The War Against the High Cost of Living:  How a Community of Polish-American Women Fought to Better their Lives,” while Joe Lueck, the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Seminar Paper award, presented “Hog Wild:  Shifting Livestock Control Policies in 17th-century New England.”   Other award recipients included Dillon Barto, of the John Schwarz Essay award, Elizabeth Hile, of the Outstanding Senior in History award, Lindsay Bauman, of the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award, and Joe Lueck, of the Outstanding Departmental Citizen award.  Lueck, who is also the president of the department’s Gamma Upsilon chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, inducted eleven new members into the Society:  Lindsey Marie Bauman, Zachary Burton, Danya Marie Crow, Amanda Catherine Dreyer, Heather Hines, Michael Horton, Grant Calvin Joy, Brandon J. Leal, Amber Lewis, Daniel K. Rossignol, and David Staub.  After the awards, students, family members, and faculty enjoyed a reception in the History Department.  Congratulations to all the honorees, and thanks to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, faculty, and Tina Thomas for organizing the event and reception.




Annual History Professional Day 2016

Dr. Becky Mancuso led a discussion of Canadian connections to U. S. history.

Dr. Becky Mancuso led a discussion of Canadian connections to U. S. history.

On Friday, April 8, 2016, the History Department held its History Professionals Day, an annual event that brings approximately 30 history and social studies teachers to BGSU for a morning of workshops and lectures on the latest developments in a variety of historical fields and topics. Dr. Nicole Jackson presented on “Civil Rights in the US: From Reconstruction to the Present,” Dr. Becky Mancuso on “The Underground Railroad’s Canadian Connection,” and Dr. Amilcar Challu on “Environmental History.” In addition, BGSU’s Director of Pre College Programs and College Credit Plus Coordinator (and BGSU History MA alumnus) Michael Ginnetti reported on new initiatives to aid teachers gaining the graduate credit hours in History required for College Credit Plus certification. The teacher-participants responded well to all of the presentations. “Love the diversity of topics,” noted one teacher, “and the collection of primary sources that I can definitely use in the classroom.”

History Department Presence at the Ohio Academy of History Conference

At the annual Ohio Academy of History conference, which met at the Stark Campus of Kent State University on April 1 and 2, 2016, BGSU History faculty and alumni participated in four panels. Drs. Ben Greene and Steven Schrag delivered papers, “Waging a Cultural Cold War: U. S. Public Diplomacy During the Cold War,” and “Goering in Captivity: An Analysis of the Treatment of High Value German POWs in the Immediate Postwar Period,” respectively, while PhD alumnus Dr. Don Eberle’s paper was entitled “Dumped in to the Maumee River of Placed in a Padded Cell: Scott Nearing, Toledo University and Academic Freedom During the First World War.” Graduate Director Dr. Michael Brooks participated in a roundtable discussion of Graduate Directors in Ohio.  Department Chair Dr. Scott C. Martin chaired and commented on a panel that was co-sponsored by the Alcohol and Drugs History Society: “Drink and Temperance: Literature, Rum, and Central Asia.”  In addition, Dr. Martin, who assumed the presidency of the Ohio Academy for the coming year, delivered his Presidential Lecture at Business Meeting/Luncheon on Saturday, speaking on “Serendipity in the Cemetery: The Anglo-American Community in Florence, 1840-1860.”

Dr. Scott C. Martin became the OAH president for the coming year.

Dr. Scott C. Martin became the OAH president for the coming year.

BGSU’s 2016 Latino Issues Conference


Undergraduate Matthew Wright

Undergraduate Matthew Wright

The 2016 BGSU Latino Issues Conference was held Thursday, March 24, 2016. It was an all-day conference that featured BGSU student presentations and a keynote luncheon with speaker Jennine Capo Crucet, award winner author of Make Your Home Among Strangers.

History undergraduates and graduate students presented their work in a panel entitled Music, Literature, and Criticism.” Matthew Wright presented on Afro-Mexican soldiers at the time of Mexican independence, discussing the importance of race and ethnicity at a critical juncture in time.

Kaysie Harrington and Josh Holloway spoke on the famous Catalina de Erauso and Thomas Hall whom both dressed and lived as the opposite sex for military and personal reasons. Harrington tackled the issue from the perspective of gendered honor norms, while Holloway discussed it from a broader political economic perspective, presenting Catalina as the foot soldier of an expanding global empire. Nanosh Lucas, a Dual History-Spanish MA student finally presented on food in nineteenth century Mexico and New England, seeing cookbooks were an integral part of an emerging capitalist culture of the time.

The Latino Issues/Encuentro Latinoamericano Conference illuminates on the diversity and successes of BGSU students and their ability to reach out to the community presenting history that would otherwise go untold.

The History Society: A place to share the passion for history

We all have our favorite time periods when it comes to history. The History Society Club is a place to share those time periods and talk with fellow classmates. Meetings are on Wednesdays at 7:30pm in Williams Hall #141. We occasionally have professors come in and talk to us about their specific area of specialty. We also have theme nights, where we talk about specific themes and topics in history. For example, this semester we are talking about Classical, Medieval, Colonial, and Modern history. Game and movie nights are also fun activities that we put on throughout the semester. And for those of you who may need some help around exams, we’ll be having a study night near finals.

It’s a great place to come and hangout with fellow lovers of history! Be sure to follow the twitter account for daily updates: @HistoryBgsu

Guest post by Nicole Farley, History major and member of the History Society. 


Job opening: Head Librarian and University Archivist position

Bowling Green State University

University Libraries

Head Librarian and University Archivist, Center for Archival Collections (CAC)


Reporting to the Chair of the Archival Collections and Branches Department, the Head Librarian and University Archivist will supervise and evaluate seven unit employees, lead the unit in establishing a forward-looking vision with an emphasis on achieving and assessing strategic initiatives for the unit, which includes collections related to Northwest Ohio history, Great Lakes, University Archives, Midwest literature, and student affairs, and services that include preservation, microfilming, records management, reference, and instruction. The successful candidate will teach one course a year in Public History or a related program. Minimum qualifications: ALA-accredited Master’s degree; minimum Master’s degree in history or related field.  For detailed description & qualifications, visit


Minimum salary starting at $52,052 for a 12-month, tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor.  This position is available beginning July 1, 2016.  Print or electronic applications must be received or postmarked by March 18, 2016.  Submit application letter, vitae, and name, address, contact information for minimum 3 references to: Head Librarian and University Archivist, (CAC) Search Committee.  Email: Final candidate(s) are required to authorize & pass a background investigation prior to an offer of employment. BGSU is an AA/EO institution.


This is a re-posting of this position.  Previous applicants need not reapply and are still part of the applicant pool.

History Alum Returns to BGSU for Guest Lecture


Ms. Bogart showing map of the Great Black Swamp

Dana Bogart-Cress, received her Bachelor’s degree in history here at Bowling Green State University back in 2012. She just recently finished her Master’s degree in History at Miami University after finishing a thesis titled My Great Terror: North West Ohio’s Environmental Borderland.

She returned to BGSU to give a lecture on the environmental history of the Black Swamp in Dr. Amilcar Challu’s Environmental History class on February 16.  Students were interested to learn about a topic so close to home. Her lecture introduced students to primary sources that she used in her thesis and talked about the draining and deforestation of the swamp to make it  prime agricultural land. These events were contentious and involved a clash of different and incompatible land uses and cultural values between natives and Euro-American settlers. Dana Bogart-Cress is currently working with AmeriCorps – Ohio History Service Corps in projects related to historic preservation. She can be followed on Twitter at @danambogart

Contributor: Nicole Farley, History Major, class of ‘17


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