Vast Early America


Karin Wulf

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Discoverability, Edwardian Style

(From the OI’s blog, March 29, 2016)

Discoverability is an essential concept for modern researchers, and a high priority for authors, librarians, and publishers. Making scholarship on particular and usefully related topics reasonably easy to locate, while giving some priority to items of higher value, is the golden ticket. This interest on the part of scholars and those who aim to support their work is hardly a phenomenon of the age of the internet. While in our world “discoverability” usually refers to discovering or making discoverable scholarship, in the first decades of the twentieth century scholars and institutions were focused on locating archival materials to read and then finding ways to circulate information about where and how to use them.   More

#VastEarlyAmerica and Origins Stories: WMQ 1:1

(From the OI’s Blog, Feb 22, 2016)

What started me thinking more seriously about the first issue of the William and Mary Quarterly was the typescript of an interview in 1973 with Richard L. Morton, the first Editor of the WMQ, held in Swem Library’s Special Collections at William & Mary. Provost and OI Executive Board member Michael Halleran passed a copy to me recently and asked if I’d seen it. In fact I hadn’t, although I’ve read pretty deeply in the archives of the OI’s founding and early years. Morton elaborated some things I’d wondered about, including some of the practical aspects of the collaboration between the College and Colonial Williamsburg that became the OI. But mostly he mused about the challenges of getting the journal up off the ground. He even (too briefly!) described his earliest version of a card system for tracking submissions and subscriptions.   More

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