Thursday, October 18, 2012

CT Historical Update

Gloria Whiting from Harvard and Kelly Arehart from the College of William and Mary are spending three weeks each at the Connecticut Historical Society. As usual, the Fellows make use of our resources in interesting ways. Gloria is pouring through 17th and 18th century court records for clues on family relationships among slave families in Connecticut. Kelly has benefited from our recently completed backlog cataloging project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. There was one bill we discovered just before her arrival that provided excellent details on what materials were purchased for an individual's funeral, including preserving fluid. Kelly also was in awe of the corpse preserver! Her topic, obviously, is the development of the funeral industry.

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 NERFC Fellows Announced

Each Spring the New England regional Fellowship Consortium makes up to a dozen $5,000 grants to scholars to facilitate research at participating institutions. This year’s Fellows, and their research topics, are: Kelly Brennan Arehart, College of William and Mary “Give Up Your Dead: How Business, Technology, and Culture Separated Americans from their Dearly Departed, 1780-1930” Justin Clark, University of Southern California “Training the Eyes: Romantic Vision and Class Formation in Boston, 1830-1870" Michael Cohen, Tulane University “Jews in the Cotton Industry: Ethnic Networks in 19th Century America” John Dixon, Harvard University “Found at Sea: Mapping Ships' Locations on the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic” Moira Gillis, University of Oxford “The Unique Early Modern American Corporation” Jared Hardesty, Boston College “The Origins of Black Boston, 1700-1775” Benjamin Hicklin, University of Michigan Ann Arbor “‘Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be’?: The Experience of Credit and Debt in the English Atlantic World, 1660-1750” Allison Lange, Brandeis University “Pictures of Change: Transformative Images of Woman Suffrage, 1776-1920” Jason Newton, Syracuse University “Forging Titans: Myth and Masculinity in the Working Forests of the American Northeast, 1880-1920” Ana Stevenson, University of Queensland “The Woman-Slave Analogy: Rhetorical Foundations in American Culture, 1830-1900” Gloria Whiting, Harvard University “‘Endearing Ties’: Black Family Life in Early New England”

Monday, March 12, 2012

Recent Boston Atheneum Fellow

Like most scholars, Robyn McMillin had clearly prepared her one sentence description to explain her project to acquaintances, and she had to put it to use over and over as she was given a tour and introduced to members of staff; however, with each repetition, she provided more and more details and seemed to catch our interest. These tours are necessary for scholars, but we find them very helpful in getting to know exactly what a researcher needs. Robyn used an impressive combination of rare and circulating materials as she researched "all those, except Benjamin Franklin, engaged in science in the long 18th century." She officially finished last week, but we look forward to her return several times this Spring, before her research trip is over.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Hampshire Historical Society News

In the past decade the New Hampshire Historical Society has hosted more than 30 recipients of NERFC grants. These graduate students, faculty members, and other scholars from around the nation and abroad have conducted research in the Society’s collections. This past year the Society hosted two NERFC fellows with two more anticipated in the coming months. Robyn McMillan from the University of Oklahoma spent two weeks at the Society in August working on expanding her doctoral dissertation, “Science in the American Style, 1680-1815,” into a book. Last winter, Christine DeLucia, a doctoral candidate at Yale University, researched her dissertation topic, “The Memory Frontier: Making Past and Place in the Northeast after King Philip’s War.” Both researchers found our collections rich in pertinent material.

In recent years several NERFC scholars have published books or articles based in part on their research at the Society. Woody Holton’s book, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, and Francois Weil’s article, “John Farmer and the Making of American Genealogy,” in the New England Quarterly are two examples. Another recent grant recipient, Lynda Domino of Iowa State University, discovered many first-hand accounts of Civil War medical care including what she judged to be the best description of a leg amputation she had encountered in her research.