• Go to Hesburgh Library's Special Collections and ask to see the California-Oregon Trail Diary that they have. (Special Collections is accessible from the main library hallway; it's the rooms across the hallway from the fishbowl)
  • While this diary ends when it's writer reaches the Salt Lake Cutoff, it's still valuable to us as a source of a migrant's journey westward. Read some of the diary to get a sense of what type of information it includes and how it narrates the journey.
  • Write a blog post that includes the following:
    1. A photo of you with the source in Special Collections (please be sure you don't violate any of the handling rules to take this photo)
    2. A description of the source -- the information it includes and its style of narration
    3. Contextualize this material alongside what we've read and discussed in class. How can this add to our discussions of the Gold Rush and westward migration?
    4. Briefly describe your experience visiting Special Collections. What was it like to handle such an old document?
    5. Word Count: 450-600 words (can include inline references but not the bibliography), and include inline references/bibliography as is appropriate.
  • Due by 5:00PM on Sunday 9/11.
  • Grading

    This extra credit assignment will offer up to 10 points of extra credit. It must meet all of the requirements listed here and adhere to class standards of professionalism and proofreading.


    Write for a public audience that includes your peers


  • To increase your proficiency and comfort at analyzing primary sources and practicing using the digital tools we learn about in class

  • To engage with the public, including your peers, in offering thoughtful responses to historical materials

  • To gain experience and comfort in blogging and digital communication

  • To provide regular opportunities for synthesis, writing, and historical analysis in the classroom.
  • To interact with primary sources in Special Collections.