Trevor Delp has completed his second and final week as guest curator for the Adverts 250 Project. As we say farewell to him, let’s take a few moments to find out more about her behind-the-scenes contributions to this project.
Adverts 250: This was your second week as guest curator. How did it compare to the first time? Did you make any changes to your research or writing process based on what you learned the first time?
Trevor Delp: In my second week as guest curator I adjusted both my writing style and my research process. To start, I focused on giving my advertisements more of a traditional research build up and then a connection or theme of historical significance. This is something that I found took a significant amount of time, but it gave my analysis more depth and made them more interesting to read. I found that giving my analysis a deeper historical background also gave me more to talk about. The deeper my research went, the more I was able to draw connections to both colonial and modern time, giving my writing more ideas to develop. This also pushed me to grow as a writer and develop my research techniques, using databases, efficiently reading long texts, and developing reliable sources. It also forced me to work on my source development and introducing sources into my writing in new and different ways.
Adverts 250: What is the most important or most interesting thing that you learned about early American history throughout the process of working on this project?
Trevor Delp: The most important thing that I learned working on this project is how diverse and how long history is. While going through years, decades, and even centuries of history I was forced to realize how fast things developed, even in colonial times. I find it is very easy for me to fall into the mindset of generalizing years into almost days or weeks and decades into years. Working in just 1766 forced me to break down just that year that I was researching and find how things developed to be how they are. This is something that I really enjoyed once I slowed down, because it again gave me more to incorporate into my writing. Furthermore, finding different interpretations of the history through the elites, the working citizens, slaves, and the British really developed my understanding of American history.
Adverts 250: What is the most important thing you learned about “doing history” as a result of working on this project?
Trevor Delp: While working on this project the most important thing I learned about “doing history” is the structure my writing. I tried to write in a way that was both easy to read and showed development to a common thesis. My first week working on the project I came to a realization that I had not done a lot of short analytical writing; up until this project, a majority of my writing had been essay structured. This forced me to learn how to write in a concise way that did not eliminate important details but was informative. I also had to learn how to structure my writing in a more organized way. I had to spend much more time editing the structure of my writing to make sure that sentences were organized chronologically and logically developing into a common theme or thesis. This also taught me to be more specific with my word choice. I had to adjust to using words that carried more meaning than other more common words. These three things have benefited all of my writing and helped me to develop a more specific writing style that is unique and I am proud of.
Adverts 250: What is your favorite advertisement from your two weeks as guest curator? Why?
Trevor Delp: My favorite topic throughout my second week as guest curator would have to be my final advertisement for “Benjamin Faneuil, Junr.” shop in Boston. Having grown up in Massachusetts and visited Boston many times, Faneuil Hall has always been something I am familiar with. When I first started my research into the Faneuil family name I was not confident that it would directly connect. After after researching the family history and identifying similar locations I was convinced that the author of the advertisement, Benjamin Faneuil Jr., was in fact the brother of Peter Faneuil who donated Faneuil Hall. This advertisement gave me insight into something I had always known about but never know the true history of.
Thank you, Trevor. You’ve made some great contributions to the project during your time as guest curator, diving into the advertisements and examining their context in depth. You’ve also don a wonderful job identifying public history sites that provide even more information about the events and historical processes you’ve discussed.
Trevor recently gave a public presentation about his work as a guest curator at Assumption College’s 22nd annual Undergraduate Symposium.