Thursday, February 11, 2016
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Today's blogger, Erin Weinman, is a history major at Rutgers University. This post is the story of her favorite project during her summer internship at the David Library of the American Revolution.
By Erin Weinman
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Erin Weinman of Somerville, NJ is a senior history major at Rutgers University. She is interning at the David Library this summer.
Additionally, there's a good article in the July/August 2010 issue of American Spirit, the magazine of the Daughters of the American Revolution by Anthony, Lena, “Cannons and Camaraderie: The Earliest Fourth of July Traditions.” We have a copy at the David Library. If you live close enough, drop in at the David Library sometime between now and July 3 (the Library will be closed on July 4) to read it. Understanding the origins of our traditional Fourth of July celebrations may enhance the holiday for you this year.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Larry Kidder, pictured at right, is the author of "A People Harassed and Exhausted: The Story of a New Jersey Militia Regiment in the American Revolution." March is Women's History Month.
I have been doing a lot of research lately on individuals in New Jersey who experienced the War of Independence in various ways. A number of these people are women, and during Women’s History Month it is appropriate to really focus on the many roles women played during the war. Most of the time when we think of the Revolution we tend to focus on military or political contributions and don’t really think about how the political and military decisions made by leaders affected the lives of everyday people not associated with the military, both men and women.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The Price of Rebellion
By Christopher F. Minty, Guest Blogger
Henry Cruger to John Harris Cruger, Dartmouth Papers, 1765–1782, D(W) 1778/I ii/983/I #1144, Staffordshire Record Office, United KingdomI am just arrived here from Bristol, where I left your Father well, and in tolerable Spirits, the Want of which myself, and some important Business brought me hither. In the midst of my Hurry and Confusion I sit down to write a few Lines that you and all our Family may know where and how I am – By one Thing or other my Heart is almost broke: Administration finding every Thing in this Country go to their Liking, are bent upon carrying Matters to the utmost Extremities – many more Troops are going out and more recruiting – Poor America will be utterly undone, unless some Concession on their Part is speedily made, which I am persuaded will be as speedily grasped at here; for all good Men wish for a Reconciliation.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Kyle Stenger joined us this summer as an intern from Rider University. He has recently returned to his classes at Rider for his senior year. The following are his thoughts on his summer internship.
In most cases I go straight to the Revolutionary War Pension Records. Other times I pick up the Pennsylvania Archives or scroll through the New Jersey Archives on microfilm; however, for a lot of our microfilm collections we hold film guides to make it easier accessing the materials. Every once in a while an answer will not be available, meaning either there were not many records kept about the topic in question or, in a rare instance, the David Library does not carry the necessary materials.
Besides the normal parts of the job, which I have just described, I have worked on two big projects throughout the summer. One came about because of a need for space. The library is running out of shelf room and the idea came up to go through our entire journal collection and make a catalogue of specific articles in each journal that actually concerns our era and topic; that is, the years 1750-1800 and the American Revolution, respectively. Bear in mind that the subject matter for the American Revolution branches out a great distance.
The journal collection consists of many academic monthlies, quarterlies, and annuals. We have received issues from journals such as the Journal of American History, the Journal of Southern History, the American Neptune (a journal of maritime history), and the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research (a British military history journal). There is a great deal more (I have conquered barely half of the collection this summer), and we include even the most minute issues from local historical societies and even Bicentennial special programs. Going through these journals, I have expanded the boundaries of my horizons immeasurably; so much more has been researched and written about than I had previously even thought of.
By far the most gigantic project I have ever been apart of is the British General Courts Martial records. It is an occupation in and of itself. Interns have been working on it for the past few years and they will continue to work on it even when I start my own career.
Around 2011, the historian who was employed here traveled to London and visited the British National Archives. He returned with photographs of Court Martial records: 15 large books with around 400-500 handwritten pages each documenting court martial trials which had taken place all over the world (from Gibraltar to New York to Nova Scotia to army camps in India) and occurred from the 1730’s to the 1770’s.
My job, as was and is and will be other intern’s job, is to transcribe these records and enter all pertinent information into a database, which is an Excel spreadsheet as of now. It is very tedious and time-consuming work, and one may go so far as to call it “boring” work. However, that person would be one who had not experienced this work. It is tiring, yes, but also exciting. I have read glimpses of people’s lives from close to 250 years ago. I have found out why certain, supposedly unimportant, people died so long ago. I have gone through such cases as desertion, theft, drunkenness, mutiny, rape, and even murder, and have experienced some of these people’s best and worst times.
I have gone through pages which have not been seen by many eyes since they were first written in the 18th Century.
I have studied families who are not famous but common.
I have followed the most plain soldier from town to town during his time in the War of the Revolution.
I have done seemingly the most unimportant and nonchalant work there is to do in a library.
And it has been quite the pleasure. I have learned and enjoyed so much here at the David Library that I do not regret taking an unpaid internship and not making nearly as much money as I could have this summer. The people that I have met and worked with, the patrons that have come in, the conversations I have had, has all been worth it.
Kyle Stenger, 20 August 2013