BKBB Professor Perspective | Presbyterian Historical Society

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BKBB Professor Perspective

October 24, 2022

Building Knowledge and Breaking Barriers is an archives-based learning project between the Presbyterian Historical Society and Community College of Philadelphia.


After introducing her English 102 class to PHS during the Spring semester of 2020, Cindy Giddle, Associate Professor of English and Humanities at CCP, shared three reasons for students to have well-organized and friendly access to our archives:

1. The archives give students a concrete sense of the organization of documents. Many students have never routinely visited a library, yet most academic databases in some way mirror the organization of library catalogs.

CCP Creative Writing class visit to PHS in September 2019.

2. The archives welcome students into the community of scholars in Philadelphia and invite them to participate in the study of both the city and the Presbyterian Church.

CCP Professor Cindy Giddle explains how history was brought to life for students in the PHS archives and how their research made them feel like scholars.

3. Besides the real value of students visiting PHS, there is, even more importantly, the wonder and excitement of experiencing the documents available there. Many students simply could not believe that they were reading “real” newspapers and pamphlets from the 1820s.

Former CCP student and PHS intern Marcus Baldwin stands with Reference and Outreach Archivist Janny Barr in the archives annex. 


Hear more from educators from Community College of Philadelphia: bkbbphilly.org/professor-perspectives-0