The blue books are all graded. If you’re in the coursework zone, your own assignments are in. The sun is out; green is returning to the land. Now, for most of us history grads, it’s time to spend a large portion of our summer in windowless rooms around the globe. Archive season is here!
Every week, AHA Today showcases a new grant, fellowship, or scholarship of interest to historians which has been posted to our free Calendar. This week we are featuring the Society of American Archivists’ J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award.
“Dr. Rosinbum, come over here! We’ve got to show you this.” When I walked over, a group of students excitedly showed me a digitized copy of the December 10, 1884, edition of the Daily Morning Astorian. At the bottom of one of its two columns dedicated to news, and immediately following a reprinted travelogue of the Acoma Pueblo, the paper breathlessly reported a new spate of attacks on clergymen. The article, titled “Trial for Heresy,” stated that “(w)hen Old Satan wants to upset a minister’s usefulness he attacks him with a fit of dyspepsia.
On September 28, 1833, Prince George FitzClarence, the oldest illegitimate son of King William IV of the United Kingdom, dined on soup, fish, chicken, and beef steak pie at Windsor Castle. On the same day, the housekeepers ate soup, duck, and leg of lamb, and the comptrollers had soup, mutton, and fillet of veal. Detailing the many, often meat heavy, dishes served to the Royal Family and the Royal Household from fall 1833 to spring 1835, this menu book is only one of the thousands of documents from the Royal Archives already uploaded to Georgian Papers Online as part of the Georgian Papers Programme.
By Michelle M. Martin
In a neat, ornate hand Katie Edwards wrote in her diary on April 4, 1870, about the new chapter in her life that awaited her in the Indian Territory. “After a good night rest in a clean bed I rose this morning much refreshed . . . started for the Mission . . . will start with 80 pupils,” she remarked. With this simple declaration Edwards left behind the security and comfort of Ohio and entered the intricate world of the Mvskoke and Seminole peoples in the Indian Territory.
By Michelle Nickerson
“We don’t have anything on conservative women, however . . .”
This is what archivists would tell me during the earliest days of my dissertation research. It was the turn of the 21st century, and I was enthusiastically joining a wave of new scholars taking up what Alan Brinkley had called, in his path-breaking 1994 American Historical Review essay, “The Problem of American Conservatism.”
When College of the Holy Cross professor K.J. Rawson first imagined what would become the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA), he had in mind something fairly simple: a collection of finding aids that would solve a problem he’d faced himself as a researcher—the difficulty of figuring out “where transgender-related materials are held.” The collection Rawson envisioned would guide researchers through the contents of scattered transgender history archives. What emerged instead is a multi-institution collaboration; a centralized digital repository of unprecedented scale that has made accessible digitized materials related to transgender history gathered from collections across the world.
I was wrapping up the second to last chapter of my MA thesis when I received a call from a local historian from Holly Springs, Mississippi. During our conversation, my colleague read out an excerpt from a short biographical sketch about Dr. William M. Compton that she’d found in a local history book published in the 1930s. What struck me about the sketch was that it named Compton as the founder and “Grand Cyclops” of Marshall County’s chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.