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In 1978 The Bard Center established the Hudson Valley Studies program to assist students, faculty, historical agencies, and community members in studying the Hudson Valley. The region’s towns and countryside, libraries and museums, commerce and transportation, and natural environment provide an enormous cultural and scientific laboratory for analysis of its past and present. Acquisition and preservation of relevant documents are the main tasks of the Hudson Valley Studies Archives, which has a rich collection of printed material, including census data, from the region’s economic and social past.
The program makes the vast resources of the Hudson Valley region accessible to a variety of scholars. An art history major might choose to study a local artist or a type of artistic work characteristic of the valley, or an economics major the impact of industrial transformations on small towns along the Hudson River. Student research projects are organized around a broad regional perspective, with findings related to a wider frame of reference.