May 6, 2010 | News
Lehman Special Collections Librarian Janet Butler Munch won an Award for Service at the Lehman College Faculty Recognition Awards for her design of the “Childhood in the Bronx” website. http://www.lehman.edu/library/childhood-bronx/
“Childhood in the Bronx” provides a fascinating overview of the borough’s transformation through the lens of the immigrants who lived there. At the centerpiece of the online collection are digitized photographs from Georgeen Comerford’s 1986 exhibition at Lehman, which are juxtaposed with historic images from the Bronx Institute Archives. Audio recordings culled from earlier oral histories enhance the visual presentation of the borough’s changing ethnic landscape. The cumulative effect is one of a rich multimedia sensory environment that lets visitors explore in a personal way the borough’s rich history and growth from a bucolic haven to a diverse metropolis.
A digitization grant from Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) supported Professor Janet Munch as she built a team of archivists, historians and technologists to bring the project to fruition. The exhibition has proven a valuable resource for students of immigration, ethnicity and local history, and has drawn interest from CUNY scholars interested in using the site to study changing regional linguistic patterns in the borough.
CUNY’s history has always been intertwined with New York’s and this view of the Bronx underscores those ties. “The exhibition is a positive representation of the rich history and diversity of our borough,” says Kenneth Schlesinger, Chief Librarian at Lehman College. “Janet Munch should be acknowledged for her innovative contribution.”