Over the last few weeks, MRED Professor Dr. Terry Farris, conducted archival research at Washington University in St. Louis. Farris' research on Urban Redevelopment Policy in St. Louis-The Early Years and Beyond (1949-1991) included scanning 2500 pages from Mayor's records, adding to his already scanned 6500 pages from his recent sabbatical. His research was sponsored by a travel grant from Washington University and recorded his research productivity in a blog titled "Travel Grant Recipient's discussion on Urban Redevelopment Policy in St. Louis" for the archives.
"As archivists we always wonder how do researchers use the materials they find in the archives? And what do they learn from these documents?
Dr. J. Terrence Farris in Clemson University’s School of Planning, Development, Preservation and Landscape Architecture shared his experience researching at Washington University Archives in various St. Louis Mayors' records last Thursday, June 14, at “Research 101” a brown bag discussion for librarians, archivists, and library staff focused on the research process of faculty and students...Dr. Farris says that so far, the most gratifying aspect of his research is seeing documentation from the late 1940s that indicates that the founders of the redevelopment movement understood a lot of the complexities that they were getting ready to face, and found it was easier to outline an effective program on paper than to implement it, especially given the many market forces beyond their control."
View the entire June 20, 2012 blog post here.
Dr. Farris will now work to prepare various articles and eventually a book on St. Louis redevelopment history from a national historical perspective, including implications for how to assist today's "Shrinking Cities."