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Roger Horowitz is director of Hagley Museum’s Center for
the History of Business, Technology and Society and teaches history and
Jewish studies as an adjunct professor at UD.
Editor’s note: This article appears in the new, all-digital issue of the University of Delaware Research magazine. This
issue spotlights UD’s graduate students, an essential group of
researchers who come from around the world, bringing fresh energy and
new perspectives to their studies.
It includes a special section on UD’s
growing muscle in robotics and reports on COVID-19 research with
impact in Delaware, the nation and the world.
Long before there were text messages, property records, depositions
or love letters, before there was a keyboard, printing press, quill pens
or even crudely sharpened stones that could carve into the wall of a
cave, people were learning about life from other people’s stories.
And thousands of years later, we still like learning things that way, says historian Roger Horowitz.
“The past is not abstract,” he said. “It’s about John, Sam, Irving,
Phyllis. And that connects with the way we most want to learn about
history — through their stories.”
Horowitz recently taught students at the University of Delaware how
to capture and curate such stories, collaborating with the Jewish
Historical Society of Delaware on an oral history project that focused
on senior members of the Jewish population in Wilmington, Delaware.
Horowitz is an excellent guide for such a task. He has the history
chops, with a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, expertise in
the history of business, technology and industry, and extensive
experience with oral histories. He has done such projects himself,
including one focused on the United Packinghouse Workers of America in
the 1980s and more recently with workers at the Chrysler plant in
Newark, Delaware, which once operated on the grounds of what is now UD’s
Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. Horowitz now is
director of Hagley Museum’s Center for the History of Business,
Technology and Society and teaches history and Jewish Studies as an
adjunct professor at UD.
To learn more about this oral history project, see the UD Research magazine website.
Article by Beth Miller; photo by Evan Krape
Published April 8, 2021
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