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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Harvesting History From DeKalb-Area Immigrants

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Volunteers at the NIU Founder's library are working on a new project called “History Harvest.”

They’re collecting items that symbolize the journey to northern Illinois, which can include photographs, letters, or an oral story.

Undergraduate history students are “digitizing” the collections for the public to see online.

Drew VandeCreek, an organizer of the project, says it’s a collaborative way for students to learn about immigration.  

“The way that the humanities usually work is you read a book and you write a paper, and it’s something that you do very much on your own," VandeCreek said. "Well, I think work in this country is becoming more and more of a team thing. So it’s good for students to be able to work as part of a team."

VandeCreek says the project can attract a broad scope of participants. 

“I think that, other than people who are of Native American background, everyone at some point, their family immigrated to this country,” VandeCreek said. 

Volunteers have visited Oak Crest retirement home and plan to reach out to others soon.

VandeCreek says the final product should be done by the end of next month.