Milka Ramos-Gallo ’21, a student employee at the College’s media center, has begun a project that will preserve a special part of Bloomfield College’s history. Ramos-Gallo has started to accession and transcribe correspondence dated between the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, during the time the College was a seminary. The letters are from missionaries who traveled to Africa to set up religious schools and paint a vivid picture of what life was like separated by continents.
Ramos-Gallo became fascinated with reading the letters, finding it interesting that the messages were being mailed to local towns like Orange and Glen Ridge, NJ. She took the time to educate herself on the College’s storied 151-year history in order to possibly match the letters to certain moments in the College’s timeline.
This was made possible with a grant from the SWEP, the Summer Work Experience Program.
“I was able to learn so much about the College’s history! I was able to see how Bloomfield College has grown since it was a small seminary and how, in Africa, the missionaries were opening their own school and did their best to educate local students,” shared Ramos-Gallo. “I also got a glimpse into how different our lives are compared to how these people lived. It opened my eyes and I was really impressed with how the missionaries navigated their world at that time.”
The next stage of this undertaking is to scan the letters and make them available online, along with transcriptions and summaries, as the documents have faded and penmanship is sometimes hard to decipher. The high-quality scanner was donated by the Bloomfield College Alumni Association.
Ramos-Gallo will begin this phase of work once she returns from Europe, where she is spending the semester studying abroad.