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[Detail] Louis Armstrong, Carnegie Hall, New York, N.Y., ca. Apr. 1947

Historical Analysis and Interpretation: Formulating Questions to Focus Inquiry

The William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz collection includes photographs taken at more than 70 venues, from such well-known performance venues as Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall to clubs like Stuyvesant Casino and the Three Deuces to radio stations and the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Choose one of these venues (use the Browse by Venue feature). Before you look at the photographs from the venue, formulate three questions to focus your inquiry. For example, you might ask: Why were jazz musicians performing at this venue? After you have created your list of questions, analyze the photographs taken at the venue. You may need to look at print documents in the collection to find answers to your questions. For example, William P. Gottlieb's Life and Work: A Brief Biography Based on Oral Histories provides information about why the Turkish Embassy was an important venue in jazz history.

  • How helpful was it to have questions to focus your inquiry?
  • Did having questions to focus your inquiry limit you in any way? Explain your answer.