National Historical Publications & Records Commission

NHPRC News

February 2013

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Inside the Commission

Three new appointees have been named to the Commission. George Miles, curator of the Western Americana Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, joins us as the representative of the Organization of American Historians. Peter Gottlieb, former state archivist in Wisconsin and past president of the Society of American Archivists, and will now represent the SAA. Nicole Saylor will represent the Librarian of Congress on the Commission. Ms. Saylor is the newly appointed Head of the American Folklife Center Archive at the Library. Before joining the Library, Saylor served as head of Digital Research and Publishing at the University of Iowa Libraries.

George Miles

Peter Gottlieb

Nicole Saylor

Grants Awarded to 46 Projects

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero has approved 46 proposals totaling $2,605,494 in Federal awards for projects in 35 states and the District of Columbia. This grants program is carried out through the National Archives National Historical Publications and Records Commission. A complete list of the approved grants is at http://www.archives.gov/nhprc/awards/awards-11-12.html.

Grants totaling $1.2 million went to nine publishing projects from the U.S. Colonial and Early National period, including the papers of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Dolley Madison, and John Jay. Also funded were projects to record the documentary history of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the documentary history of the first Federal Congress.

Grants totaling $750,000 went to the State and National Archives Partnership (SNAP) to enable 30 state historical records advisory boards to fund archival education and strengthen the nation's archival network. Fourteen of those states received funds for "regrant" projects, which will help them fund small and local archives and historical records repositories.

Blackwell Family, ca. 1901-1906. Courtesy of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Digitizing historical records grants, totaling $420,000, went to four projects: the University of Florida will digitize and make available more than 36,000 pages of diaries and manuscripts from the end of the Colonial period to the beginnings of the modern state; Princeton University will digitize more than 400,000 pages of six Cold War-related manuscript collections; Harvard University will digitize 189,074 pages, covering four generations of the Blackwell Family from 1784 to 1981, that document their involvement with abolition, temperance, women's suffrage, and education reform; and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in Springfield, Illinois, will digitize the records of Richard Yates, Sr., governor of Illinois,1861-1865.

Three Electronic Records grants, totaling $235,000, went to: the Council of State Archivists for a two-year project to strengthen the capacity of states and territories to manage and preserve electronic records; an electronic records start-up project at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; and a planning grant for the Missouri Office of the Secretary of State to establish an electronic records archives.

Annotation Available

Cover of Annotation, the FY 2012 Annual Report of the NHPRC, with woodcut illustration of Ulysses S. Grant by Barry Moser

Annotation, the annual report of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, has been published and a PDF is available online at http://www.archives.gov/nhprc/publications/annual-reports/2012-nhprc-annual-report.pdf. The report covers FY 2012 and includes stories on a dozen projects supported by the Commission. A limited number of printed volumes are available, for free, upon request. Please email Keith Donohue at keith.donohue@nara.gov.

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Grant Deadlines

The following Grant opportunities are currently available:

  • Digitizing Historical Records
    For projects to digitize nationally significant historical record collections and make the digital versions freely available online.
    Final Deadline:   June 11, 2013
  • Electronic Records Projects
    For projects to increase the capacity of archivists and archival repositories to create electronic records archives that preserve records of enduring historical value.
    Final Deadline:   June 11, 2013
  • Institute for Historical Editing
    For a project to improve the training and education for people preparing to be or working as historical editors.
    Final Deadline:   March 7, 2013
  • Publishing Historical Records
    For projects to publish historical records of national significance.
    Two annual competitions:
    Colonial and Early National Period - Final Deadline:  June 11, 2013
    New Republic through the Modern Era - Final Deadline:  October 3, 2013
  • State and National Archival Partnership Grants
    For projects to strengthen archives and historical records programs in each of the states and build a national archival network.
    Final Deadline:   September 5, 2013

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News from the Field

Stanton-Anthony Publishes Final Volume

Poster advertising Susan B. Anthony's speech in Boulder, Colorado, 12 October 1877

The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony has published its sixth and final volume, An Awful Hush, 1895 to 1906 completing an extraordinary series, edited by Ann D. Gordon and published by Rutgers University Press. The NHPRC has been a supporter since the project's beginning.

In 1982, Gordon joined the Stanton and Anthony papers project which was then at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and helped the project produce a microfilm volume in 1991 of 14,000 relevant historical documents cataloged and described, composed equally of published texts and of manuscripts. After moving the project to Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Gordon and her staff identified and cataloged more texts. Led by Gordon as editor, the project produced six volumes of The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, to "record the first half century of women's campaign for political rights in the US and provide the primary reference point for examining women's political history in the nineteenth century."

The sixth volume takes up the last years of Stanton and Anthony, who fought for women's rights for over 50 years. Shortly before Stanton's death in 1902, Anthony wrote of their struggle:

Ann Gordon, editor of the Stanton-Anthony Papers

We little dreamed when we began this contest, optimistic with the hope and buoyancy of youth, that half a century later we would be compelled to leave the finish of the battle to another generation of women. But our hearts are filled with joy to know that they enter upon this task equipped with a college education, with business experience, with the fully admitted right to speak in public--all of which were denied to women fifty years ago. They have practically but one point to gain--the suffrage; we had all. These strong, courageous, capable young women will take our place and complete our work. There is an army of them, where we were but a handful; ancient prejudice has become so softened, public sentiment so liberalized, and women have so thoroughly demonstrated their ability, as to leave not a shadow of doubt that they will carry our cause to victory.

And we, dear old friend, shall move on the next sphere of existence--higher and larger, we cannot fail to believe, and one where women will not be placed in an inferior position, but will be welcomed on a plane of perfect and spiritual equality.

Digital Stewardship

Students at Simmons College, ca. 1906. Courtesy Simmons College Archives

The current demand for cultural heritage professionals who can successfully manage digital resources and provide online services in museums, libraries, and archives is strong and will increase significantly in the future. GSLIS (the Graduate School of Library and Information Science) at Simmons College received funding from NHPRC to build a Digital Curriculum Laboratory in 2010. This lab is a key component in offering a new Cultural Heritage Informatics curriculum. Partnering with GSLIS in this grant were archival and library programs at New York University, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Mid-Sweden University, and University College, London.

Simmons College GSLIS aims, through intensive education and training, to build a society of successful digital stewards who will be effective leaders in libraries and archives. The Digital Stewardship Certificate program equips students to meet the issues of the day and encourages them to face the challenges of the future. The Digital Stewardship Certificate is a fully online program of five graduate-level courses (15 credits) that imparts the concepts and skills needed to create and manage a sustainable digital repository, library, or archive. It covers the management of digital objects over the long term through active, ongoing oversight of the total environment (content, technologies, and user expectations). The courses for this certificate are delivered online in a high-touch, highly experiential pedagogy, using the Digital Curriculum Laboratory as a key tool.

The DSC can be completed in either three or five semesters. The first course, Digital Stewardship, will be taught in the Fall of 2013, with a May 1, 2013 application deadline. For more details about the program, or to apply, please see http://www.simmons.edu/dsc.

St. George Tucker Publishes Complete Edition

The complete three-volume edition of the St. George Tucker Papers.

With support from the NHPRC, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the College of William and Mary have completed a three-volume edition of St. George Tucker's Law Reports and Selected Papers, 1782-1825 published in January through the University of North Carolina Press. This new edition brings to light the work of one of the key figures in America's judiciary history.

Born in 1752 in Bermuda, St. George Tucker went to Virginia when he was 19 to study law. By the time Tucker completed his legal studies with George Wythe at the College of William and Mary, the American Revolution was breaking out in the colonies. Tucker joined the militia and was Governor Thomas Nelson's liaison with the French army during the Battle of Yorktown. He began his law practice in 1781; in 1788 he became a professor of law at William and Mary and judge of the Virginia General Court. He continued to teach at the college until 1804. He served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia and as a judge of the U.S. District Court.

Tucker is probably most noted for his five-volume edition of Blackstone's Commentaries (1803) in which he added appendixes explaining how the law in the United States had changed since the Commentaries 1794 edition. Tucker's Blackstone became the most popular reference work for students and practitioners of United States law until the mid-19th century.

The most important of his papers are three-bound volumes of manuscript reports of cases tried in the General Court, District Court, and Court of Appeals in Virginia from 1786 to 1811. Three other volumes contain his notes of cases in the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Circuit Court. In addition to these volumes, Tucker's papers include notes of arguments, opinions, dockets, pleadings, and other loose documents relating to individual cases. Tucker's papers are valuable not only for legal history, but also because they reflect early American political and social history. Tucker, who wrote a pamphlet urging the abolition of slavery, reported on cases in which slaves asked to court to acknowledge their status as freemen. The records of the General Court were destroyed during the Civil War; Tucker's papers provide the only record of many early Virginia cases. Although Tucker's heirs donated his papers to William and Mary in 1938, for many years, despite their importance, they received little attention.

At the College of William and Mary Law School, Dean Davison Douglas and Charles Hobson celebrate the publication of the St. George Tucker's Law Reports and Selected Papers, 1782-1825. Photo by David F. Morrill

The project was headed by editor Charles Hobson, who also directed the John Marshall Papers, which was completed in a 12-volume edition several years ago. At a reception, Hobson said, "In the broadest terms, Tucker's law career as a professor, commentator, and judge was all of a piece. If the grand theme of his Blackstone's Commentaries was the adaptation of English common law to the circumstance of early republican America, then Tucker's law reports provide ample documentation of the practical working out of that process."

Environmental Design Archives

The Environmental Design Archives (EDA) at the University of California at Berkeley is undertaking a project to process and make available two collections of records created by leading environmental architects Ernest Kump and Warren Callister.

Callister and Kump influenced design locally, nationally, and internationally through their reimagining of public schools, community colleges, retirement communities, and multi-faceted cluster housing. Their projects and philosophies were published frequently in the professional, scholarly, and popular presses. Although these two collections are unprocessed and extremely difficult to use, researchers have already begun to use them to study areas such as the impact of the built environment on education and the cultural and historical impact of single- and multi-residential housing on individuals and communities, as well as more general areas of study such as architectural design, urban studies, the cultural landscape, and historic preservation.

Warren Callister home of his own design, 1967

Warren Callister (1917-2008) studied architecture, sculpture, and sociology at the University of Texas. By the mid-1960s, his firm was designing residences for a range of community developments. In many of these projects, Callister shifted away from Modernism toward designs that were inspired by local climate and lifestyle. At projects such as Heritage Village in Southbury, Connecticut (1965-72), Callister's vision all but defined a new look for the contemporary production of architecture in the northeast. He was a romantic visionary who believed that architecture could make life in the modern age more pleasant, wholesome, and relaxing. In addition to the innovative housing tracts that he designed for developers, Callister also designed custom houses, as well as churches, schools, shopping centers, airports, and other public buildings.

Ernest Kump (1911-1999) was a partner with the firm of Franklin & Kump when their radically modern Fresno City Hall (1941) was selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York as one of the most significant American structures built between 1932 and 1944. His Naval Ordnance Building at Hunters Point, California, was one of the world's first totally transparent multi-story buildings. The firm's United Airlines Airport Terminal in the San Joaquin Valley, designed in the International Style, received highest honors in the annual awards competition sponsored by Progressive Architecture in 1948. As an internationally recognized expert in school architecture, Kump was most closely associated with his award-winning 1962 design for Foothill College in Los Altos, California. He also designed educational institutions in the Virgin Islands, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, Australia, and Beirut. He was also an early proponent of envirotecture, the notion that, by relying on advanced technology, housing for families and whole communities could co-exist in harmony with the natural environment.

Foothill College campus in Los Altos, California, designed by Ernest Kump

The Environmental Design Archives, which opened in 1955, seeks to raise awareness of the significant architectural and landscape heritage of northern California and beyond through collecting, preserving, and providing access to the primary records of the built and landscaped environment. EDA's holdings of 200 collections and 300,000 visual images were recently relocated to a new research collections center with proper environmental controls and seismic safety construction. Approximately 80 percent of the holdings are fully processed and available to the public. Those collections that have not been processed are open for research when the specific documents requested by researchers can be located and their preservation is assured. In addition to students and faculty, the collections are utilized by local, national, and international researchers, including architects, builders, and home owners; historic preservationists; landscape architects; historians; artists and writers; and institutions seeking materials for exhibitions. The archives staff responds to nearly 700 reference inquiries via telephone, email, and mail per year, and serves an average of 500 visiting scholars and students per year.

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NHPRC News is published every other month. If you have news you wish to share or would like to receive an e-mail alert when the next issue is available, please contact Keith Donohue, Director for Communications, at keith.donohue@nara.gov.

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