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JCWE Historian Talk - The Nineteenth-Century Governors Papers
Nineteenth-Century Governors’ Papers: A Roundtable

Patrick Lewis, Ph.D., Filson Historical Society
Charles R. Welsko, Ph.D., Kentucky Historical Society
Lesley J. Gordon, Ph.D., University of Alabama
Julia Brock, Ph.D., University of Alabama
Susannah J. Ural, Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi
Stephanie Seal Walters, ABD, George Mason University

Nineteenth-century governors’ papers are a treasure-trove of everyday experiences because Americans of all backgrounds regularly contacted their governors with complaints and requests. Historians in three states, inspired by the opportunity to discover the experiences of diverse populations amid the cauldron of war, have launched massive digital projects. The projects — which are freely available online and include original documents, transcriptions, and contextualizing annotations — are enhancing traditional modes of research and bringing cutting-edge scholarship to public audiences. During this time of a worldwide pandemic and renewed calls for racial justice, the consortium underscores the significance, reach and promise of digital scholarship on the Civil War Era. Documents in these collections also help reveal the process and motivations of institutionalized racism still present today.

The roundtable includes representatives for the Civil War Governors of Kentucky (CWGK), the Civil War & Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi (CWRGM), and the Civil War & Reconstruction Governors of Alabama (CWRGA) projects. Participants will share insights their collections offer historians and discuss how the collections are challenging historiographical norms. The presenters will also address the public history nature of the projects and seek feedback from audience members regarding new questions the teams might investigate. Finally, they will address the technical nature of their projects, the approaches they've adopted, and how these can help users access and analyze the Civil War and Reconstruction eras in new ways.

Oct 30, 2020 04:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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