LaGuardia Community College 2002-03 Common Reading
Esmeralda Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican

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The Living In History Project began in the Fall of 2001 with the tragic destruction of the World Trade Center towers and the ensuing impact this act of terrorism had on the New York City and the United States. The Project asked students to write about their experiences during the Fall of 2001, and to connect them to the college's larger project of the First Year Experience Common Reading. The theme of the FYE Common Reading for the academic years 2001-2003 is "Personal Memoir."

During the Fall 2001 semester, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives began to collect the narratives of New Yorkers living, working, and studying in the city during the tragic events of September 11th. In December of 2001, hundreds of narratives written by LaGuardia Community College students were added to our archive collection for future researchers. These narratives came from a variety of different courses across the college where instructors worked closely with the archives to prepare materials that would be instructive to future researchers.

Since the Fall of 2001, the Living In History project has grown, tied to the theme of personal memoir and the FYE Common Reading. Each semester, we invite faculty and students to work on projects and papers that ask students to write about their lives in a historical context. As the "world's community college," LaGuardia students have been witness to some of the most powerful historical events of the latter half of the 20th century. We would like to continue to collect these first-person accounts of historical events for future researchers.


If you would like to be involved in this project, please contact one of the following professors involved in coordinating the project:

Richard Lieberman at x5066 (
Cecilia Macheski at x5685 (
J. Elizabeth Clark at x5665 (

You can also visit the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives.

LaGuardia Community College/City University of New York
31-10 Thomson Ave./Long Island City, NY 11101
Site Developed by:
Arthur C. Lau ( and J. Elizabeth Clark (
Technical Consultant: Abigail Schoneboom (Center for Teaching and Learning)