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Meet Our New Jeffe Fellow, Josie Naron

Meet Our New Jeffe Fellow, Josie Naron

June 6, 2019 | Josie Naron, Jeffe Fellow

After graduating from Carleton College in 2018, I took the plunge and moved from Minnesota to New York. Working throughout my first year as a post-graduate at the Yiddish Book Center, I combined my passion for social history, oral history, and American urban history in new ways before starting graduate school in the fall.

Now, as an Archives and Public History master’s student at New York University, public places and spaces are at the core of my work: how communities envision the spaces that are important to them, what we choose to preserve, and why it matters for the sake of history. I also firmly believe that history is meant to be shared and exists in valuable forms outside of academia. Part of my goal working with the Archive Project follows that same philosophy of translating the history of historic preservation to resonate with a variety of different audiences.

I return to the Archive Project as a former alumna of the internship program. In the summer of 2017, working under the supervision of Oral History Program Manager Liz Strong, I edited oral history transcripts and wrote content for publication on NYPAP’s website. I also researched the organization’s summer interview series, and I attended Archive Project programming across the City, including one particularly memorable barbeque on Staten Island!

More than anything, all my work at the Archive Project has grounded me in the history of urban New York and has provided me with valuable new ways to conceptualize public history through the perspective of preservation. As this year’s Jeffe Fellow, I am immersing myself in projects like promoting NYPAP’s April Preservation Film Festival, adding more vibrancy to the organization’s social media presence, and producing excerpts from past oral history projects. As I do so, I always keep the philosophies of both preservation and public history close at hand.

I would like to thank Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe, Anthony Wood, and Brad Vogel for allowing me to be a part of NYPAP and participate in the crucial, time-sensitive task of documenting New York City’s preservation history.

The Jeffe Fellowship is made possible by the generosity of the Robert A. and Elizbath R. Jeffe Foundation.

Above: Jeffe Fellow Josie Naron reviews James Marston Fitch papers. | Photo courtesy of the Archive Project