A Student of History

March 13, 2007

Society of the Cincinnati

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 8:38 am

Last week I spent what may have been the most enjoyable time I have ever had doing research.  I like researching, especially finding either new things, or finding great secondary stuff that is easily accessible and can be gathered together in the form of copies for use at home.  Anyway, the week was spent at the library of the Society of the Cincinnati, in NW Washington, D.C.  This is the most convenient, user friendly facility I have ever used, with an awesome staff that is willing to bend over backwards to help. 

I was fortunate enough to get the first Tyree-Lamb Fellowship ($1,000) to use the wonderful library, awarded by the Society on a competitive basis.  The Society is located on Mass. Ave in DC, a few short blocks off the DuPont Circle Metro station, so it is quite easy to get to.  I found so much stuff I could use, I was delighted.  What I found was not so much new manuscripts I had never seen before (though I did locate a few of these, which will be quite nice to implant into my dissertation) but the real benefit is what library director Ellen M. Clark calls “one stop shopping.”  In other words, they have just about every secondary source and published papers sets one could want, particualry out of print books not always easy to come by even at a university library.  For example, the Society has the published papers of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Livingston, Madison, Greene, Hamilton, Laurens, Cornwallis, the letters of delegates to the Continental Congress, the state records of about all of the original 13, Parliament’s debates, Fortescue’s complete history of the British Army, and on and on and on.  Copies are available same day as well.

In short, for those working on a Rev. War or Colonial military project, it is well worth the trip to take advantage of so many convenient sources at one’s finger tips.

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