Special Collections and University Archives will be profiling researchers that have consulted collections in the department. SBU student Victoria Wood is a senior and recipient of an Ashley Schiff Park Preserve Scholarship for her study of land use and history of the campus preserve.
I’m Victoria, and I’m a senior Environmental Studies student at Stony Brook University. I’m the Public Relations Coordinator for the Stony Brook Environmental Club and work at the Division of Information Technologies on campus.
I researched the land-use history of the Ashley Schiff Park Preserve on Stony Brook’s campus with Dr. Hanson last year. I was directed by my mentor to study within Special Collections and University Archives and was astonished by the depth of information stored on our own campus. I specifically consulted historical newspapers, documents, and maps of Stony Brook University.
In order to fully understand the changes to the Ashley Schiff Park Preserve, I consulted files on the history of the dedication of the preserve as well as the life of Dr. Ashley Schiff. I also studied numerous maps in Special Collections that aided in creating overlaying maps with GIS (geographic information system) to discover some of the historical and environmental changes of the Ashley Schiff Park Preserve over time.
Very early in my research, I contacted Special Collections and was immediately welcomed to study and learn as much as I could there. Everyone I talked to was extremely friendly. Each time I made an appointment at Special Collections, I would be greeted and given set-aside documents that they believed would be helpful to my studies.
I advise every student at Stony Brook University to visit Special Collections and University Archives at least once during their time on campus. Stony Brook is a research university and completing research here is a rite of passage. Even if research isn’t your calling, visit Special Collections and University Archives to discover some campus history. The Stony Brook University everyone knows currently was once a very different place. Being connected to the past may better help connect you to the role you play in the history of Stony Brook University today.
For more information about Special Collections and University Archives, please visit the website for the department. -Kristen J. Nyitray, Head, Special Collections and University Archives, University Archivist