HIstory Workshop - Prof. Carol Gold: Dumpster Diving an Archive Box

April 5, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Sakamaki Hall A201

Generally, when we do research, we start with questions and look for answers. I have turned this process on its head and started with answers—a somewhat randomly chosen box from the Copenhagen City Archives—and looked for questions. The box contains items sent from the Bakers Guild to the Copenhagen city authorities during the eighteenth century. What stories are hidden in the box?

Christian Lentz’ bakery burnt down in 1749. He applied for permission to build a new bakery in a different location, but then could not raise the funds to do so. Journeyman baker Christian Jager got engaged to baker Rasmussen’s widow and now wanted to bake a “masterpiece” in order to gain admission to the guild. There was on-going tension between the bakers and the millers. The bakers accused the millers of favoring the distillers’ grain over the bakers’, which thus sat for days and grew moldy before it was ground. Every six months the city of Copenhagen established the size of bread loaves to be sold for one or two skilling. Equally regularly the bakers complained that they could not make any money at the official prices. This project is as much about the process of how we do historical research as it is about the content of that research, fascinating as those stories are.

Event Sponsor
History, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Suzanna Reiss, (808) 956-6768, sreiss@hawaii.edu

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