Hosted by the Mass History Alliance

March 24, 2023, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

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A conversation with Jane Sciacca of the Wayland Historical Society and Emma Winter Zeig of Historic Northampton, moderated by Gloria Greis, Executive Director of the Needham History Center & Museum

Researching the history of enslavement is rewarding and necessary work – often, however, it is incredibly difficult. Traditional veins of historical research such as diaries and vital records do not yield much or any information about enslaved people. What methods should researchers learn to more effectively uncover records of enslaved people and their lives? How might we make these research methods more commonly known to those just entering the field? Jane Sciacca and Emma Winter Zeig will discuss their own experiences researching enslavement and the ways they have had to adapt traditionally taught research methods in order to do so. Join us for this Conversation on the Commons, moderated by Gloria Greis of the Needham History Center and Museum, on March 24.

This Conversation will be livestreamed. We will do our best to monitor your questions and comments during the livestream. A recording will be publicly available in the Conversations on the Commons Archive.

About our panelists:

Jane Sciacca is well known in Wayland and beyond for her distinct ability to enliven historical events and places for all to understand and enjoy. She has provided innumerable programs for the Wayland Historical Society and the National Park Service. Jane worked as an Interpretive National Park Ranger for twenty years and specialized in slavery and abolition and 19th century American Literature. She also wrote several guidebooks and children’s books for the National Park Service. She has served as the Wayland Historical Society’s president (2003-2011), Curator (2018-2019) and a Lecturer. She also chaired the Wayland Historical Commission for a number of years. Jane and her family have lived in Wayland for over fifty years.

About our moderator:

Gloria Greis has been Executive Director of the Needham History Center & Museum since 2002. She is also a member of the town’s Historical Commission and serves on appointed boards that involve town history (downtown redevelopment, renovation of municipal historic buildings, etc). She has also been on the Mass History Conference planning committee for the last several years, and has been been a presenter, session organizer, and moderator at the Conference.

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