This article details an experiment in an 11th and 12th grade 3-week intensive course, the Science and History of Contagious Disease. The course was an interdisciplinary survey of how diseases are spread along with an examination of social responses. Although both lecture and discussion based, the course revolved primary around a trip in which we led approximately 22 students through archival research in the City of Savannah Municipal Archives on the Yellow Fever epidemics of 1820, 1854, and 1876. The article describes the numerous advantages of archival work, from direct contact with rare and unique primary sources to the frustration students felt struggling with nineteenth-century handwriting. The article also addresses some of the stumbling blocks experienced by students as well as the strategies and prompts used to foster student engagement with direct primary documents that led to a critical assessment of a group of sources and a new appreciation for local history.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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