Did Benjamin Franklin invent the mail-order catalog (on top of everything else)? Wendy Woloson investigates for Bloomberg’s Echoes blog.
Most of our readers know the radio show BackStory. This week, its eclectic “sister” show from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, With Good Reason, has posted the audio for an early American episode. “Red Ink” features Drew Lopenzina on Native American literacy, Turk McCleskey on law in the Virginia frontier, and Bonnie Gordon and Emily Gale on the music of early America.
According to the Boston Globe, amateur genealogist Nathaniel Sharpe has traced the word “scalawag” to an Anti-Mason in Batavia, New York, circa 1832.
When did America see its first St. Patrick’s Day parade? The N-YHS has a contender.
Dael Norwood, current postdoctoral fellow at the New York Historical Society, writes on the society’s blog about the Empress of China, “a small ship with big ambitions.”
We have a new pope (side note: I was at the gym while CNN was playing, and oh man did CNN delve deeply into the methods necessary to produce white and black smoke). Tim Lacy at S-USIH writes about how Americans have (or haven’t) responded to new popes.
The British Library has acquired two imprints from seventeenth-century Mexico: a life of St. Thomas of Villanova and a manual for evangelists. Both were printed by women, and one was owned by a Carmelite convent.
At U.S. Intellectual History, Rivka Maizlish examines how Jill Lepore’s The Name of War and Drew Gilpin Faust’s This Republic of Suffering treat the meanings of death.
Higher Ed Hijinks
Thinking about the dissertation-to-book process? The writers at Gradhacker have some advice.
A bill was introduced in California that could hypothetically force universities to offer online classes to students who can’t get into over-enrolled core classes.
A piece on faculty salaries at Inside Higher Ed.
Over at The Times Literary Supplement, Professor David Cannadine sounds off on history reform across the pond.