Today’s post is by guest blogger, David J. Gary, who received his MLS from Queen’s College (CUNY) in 2011 and his PhD in History from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2013. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at Queens College (CUNY). He blogs at Function Follows Forme.
I am grateful to The Junto for this chance to reflect on my experiences earning both a Master’s in Library Science and a PhD in American history and to advocate for others to consider joining me. Continue reading
Inspired by the work of colleagues @ the new Digital Public Library of America and others we’ve interviewed here at The Junto, here are some bookmark-worthy links to what’s going on in the ever-evolving field of the digital humanities. We’ll update this list as projects develop, so if you’re working on a digital history initiative, please let us know so we can add it to the Resources page.
If you use new media in the classroom, how effective do you find it to be in communicating historical content/class themes? Please share your views on digital pedagogy in the comments. Continue reading
When more than 10,000 early American documents find new life in the digital world, we at The Junto want to know more about the challenges and opportunities of the project. Thomas Lannon, Assistant Curator of the Manuscripts and Archives Division at the New York Public Library, kindly took our questions on Thomas Addis Emmet’s extra-illustrated archive. Continue reading
“Washington Irving and His Literary Friends at Sunnyside.” Simms is seated at the left end of the table, shown in full profile.
(Christian Schussele, Oil on canvas, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 1864)
Meet a Southern man of letters, William Gilmore Simms, through his life’s work of literature—much of it now available in the form of free, digital editions thanks to the Simms Intitiatives at the University of South Carolina. A well-known editor, critic, poet and historian of Southern life and culture in his day, Simms (1806-1870) occupies a unique position in early American literature, and (re)introducing him to modern readers has presented new challenges for scholars. The Junto asked the Initiatives’ Todd Hagstette, Simms Curator, to talk about creating a digital portrait of the author, and why Simms’s work belongs on the syllabus. Continue reading
As has been widely reported, on Monday President Obama swore on a stack of bibles to uphold the Constitution. On one hand, maybe doubling-up on the sacred iconography will reassure those on the right who doubt the President’s sincerity, but the primary purpose was to honor two periods of American history simultaneously. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and the bibles were direct material links to those eras: one was the bible on which Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office in 1861, and the other belonged to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
United in this one event, they are very different books. The Lincoln bible has, for all intents and purposes, never been used. Continue reading
Last week, we asked how digital projects are transforming our study of early American life and culture. Here’s the first in a series of interviews with historians who tell us what worked, how digital tools shaped the narrative, and where they want to go next on the digital frontier. This week, we asked the Brooklyn Historical Society for a peek at the making of a special digital exhibit on the Lefferts family of New York. As Breuckelen becomes Brooklyn, readers can link to local sites where the Lefferts family lived and worked, including the Lefferts Historic Homestead in Prospect Park (shown here: Historical re-enactors gathering on the front steps in 1938). The Leffertses were influential landowners, politicians, historians, financiers—and also one of the county’s biggest slaveholding families. Their letters, farm accounts, and recipe books offer a new and very personal window on New York’s development.Our thanks to Jacob Nadal, the Director of Library and Archives, and Julie Golia, Public Historian and Curator, who kindly took our questions on bringing nearly four centuries of Brooklyn to digital life. Continue reading
Ceci n’est pas une book.
She was encased in stolen books, buried in them as if in dirt. The thought of the countless hundreds of thousands of names that surrounded her, vainly scrawled in top right-hand corners – the weight of all that ignored ink, the endless proclamations that this is mine this is mine, every one of them snubbed simply and imperiously….The ease with which those little commands were broken.
She felt as if all around her, morose ghosts were milling, unable to accept that the volumes were no longer theirs.
China Miéville, The Scar
So, on the heels of Christopher’s eloquent framing of the questions of historical distance, a material-texts take on the joys of negotiating that distance by using dead people’s books: Continue reading