Tag Archives: archives

Chugging Along

Research is rollling along. I meant to call the museum on Friday, but ended up getting busy with something else and completely forgot. I finally remembered to call them yesterday and ended up having to leave a message for them. I’m going to try again tomorrow and hopefully I’ll be able to get in touch with someone. Last spring when I was doing my honors capstone project, which focused on the early day of Morris in the 1880s, I got in touch with a woman who knew an extensive amount about Morris’ history. She moved to Morris in the 1950’s and has been involved with the museum for quite some time. I’m thinking she might be a good resource to talk about the war with. If not her, I’m sure there are other older folks in the area who would love to share their knowledge; the museum will be a great resource for that, since there seems to be a pretty tight community of older folks there who are passionate about local history.

At the archives, I keep finding more and more useful information in the ledger book from the West Central School of Agriculture.

Yesterday, I was looking through pamphlets that were sent out to prospective students during the summer and fall of 1918. The term didn’t start until October, so these pamphlets range from July to September. Just as college admissions teams do today, these pamphlets were meant to persuade prospective students and parents of all the benefits of the West Central School of Agriculture, what makes it better than other colleges. An emphasis was placed on the modernity of the campus–new facilities that made learning the most enriching experience possible–and the excellent faculty and staff.

More importantly for my interests, there was a huge focus placed on the importance of agriculture in a war-torn world that needed food, and an emphasis on the benefits of education to support the war effort. I am so excited about these, since much of what I had been finding so far in relationship to the WCSA has been about the Spanish Influenza. The Influenza sources are great materials and I’m looking forward to using them, but I was really looking forward to finding information regarding how the war affected the WCSA. Now I am, and that’s great!

That’s research news for me so far. Heading back into the archives tomorrow and I NEED to call the museum. I’ve been so excited about my archives findings that the museum kind of slipped my mind after I wasn’t able to get through to them yesterday. Note to self: c’mon Britta, get your act together and call that museum!

In other news, I continue to be highly amused by all the spam I’ve been getting for this site. My most favorite one of late? Yes! Finally someone writes about best dating sites. Oh, man they hit it right on the nail. That’s exactly the purpose of this blog…

Research Musings and Updates

I’ve been meaning to write this post for about a week.

I meant to write up a post last week after some exciting findings at the archives, however I realized I forgot to copy the files of all the items I had scanned into the computer there to my jump drive.

Although I could have gone ahead and written a post regardless, I wanted to reference some of the materials for a more detailed post so decided to wait until I had them copied to my computer.

This week got busy and so here I am, finally finding time today.

Last Friday was my most exciting day at the archives. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere in my research after a few visits of dead ends and frustration.

Although I feel very fortunate that I am able to get into the archives after hours, the negative side of that is not having any guidance. UMM’s archive is divided into two seconds–the history of UMM and the West Central Minnesota Historical Research Section area. I know the UMM section pretty well since those are the materials I work with as an student archives worker. However, since UMM was founded in 1960, those materials aren’t going to be be useful to me. It is the West Central Minnesota Historical Research Section area that I’m most interested in and it also happens to be the area that I know nothing about.

Well, I shouldn’t say that. Through my days there researching, I’ve gotten to know what’s there pretty well. I was basically told I could look through whatever I want to, so I’ve been rifling through a lot of materials at my leisure and having some hits but also a lot of misses.

My best finds have been in the WCSA yearbooks, particularly the 1919 yearbook.

The 1919 Moccasin (the title of the WCSA yearbook) is filled to the brim with so much information. It felt like the jackpot in really allowing me to gauge student feelings during this time period.

I had been getting really frustrated because the 1917 and 1918 yearbooks yielded nothing war-related. I was astounded that the students didn’t have anything to say about the war during those years when I’m sure it affected them quite a lot, at least indirectly, out here on the prairie. The Minnesota Commission of Public Safety was ruthless in promoting patriotism and in weeding out the supposed “traitors” throughout Minnesota in order to set them straight. The Non Partisan League–a well-known political organization that exhibited anti-war sentiments–was also really active out here in this section of Minnesota also. I would not be surprised if the Commission of Public Safety and the NPL butted heads out here on this side of the prairie.

Upon realizing that the Moccasin went to print in February, it made sense to me that the 1917 yearbook yielded no information about the war. War wasn’t declared until April, after all.

The 1918 yearbook though, puzzled me. Then again, as a college student, I’ve found it’s really easy to become disconnected to the outside world while focusing on my studies and such. Perhaps the WCSA students had a similar experience when the war was going on. Or maybe, they were too caught up in digesting all the changes that the war brought to them at home that they chose not to concentrate on it in the yearbook because it was just too much. Of course, this is all speculation and I’m not really sure either way.

What distinguished the 1919 yearbook from 1917 and 1918 was not only the content, but also the nature of that content. The 1919 yearbook had a really nice memorial to the WCSA students–past and present–who fought in the war, as well as a short history of what the WCSA students were up to during the war.

The majority of the content that I was interested in, though, focused on the the Spanish influenza. There were numerous references to how the influenza affected the student population–the influenza reached Western Minnesota in the fall of 1919, which pushed back the beginning of the semester; football season wasn’t able to happen that year, and it got the year off to a bit of jarring start for the WCSA students.

The most interesting part of the 1919 Moccasin, though, was an abundance of quips and cartoons that made light of the influenza.

We do this all the time today. A terrible thing happens and we use humor to help us cope with the horribleness. Well, the WCSA students were doing this too; responding to this terrible influenza epidemic in the aftermath of an extremely influential war with a humor that at first seemed a little out of place to me–until I remembered that humor can sometimes be an extremely effective way of coping.

Here are some examples:

1919 Flu comic 2

All on account of ‘fluenza

 

 

1919 quips

“Perhaps his nose doesn’t fit the mask”

 

1919 last will

“Earl Leaf….All the flu makes worn by us during the epidemic”

I love how these little quips and cartoons say so much about the WCSA students at the time. Then again, this might just be the sense of humor of the editors showing, but I do get the sense that the editors were made an effort to include all students in the yearbook in some way, shape or form. Regardless, it does give a glimpse into the way some of the students reacted to the influenza, at least.

Furthermore, in really delving into the content of this yearbook, I felt as if I got to know the WCSA class of 1919 a little bit more. My favorite party of history is those personal stories, and I was really able to get an idea of some of the student’s stories while going through this yearbook.

I still have a lot more to look through in the archives. I am currently sifting through oral histories; yesterday I found an oral history from a World War I veteran and I hope to find some more regarding the war during the home front.

I am eager to find more WCSA materials regarding the war, since that is what I realized I’m really interested in for this project. The campus archivist has a really great source that he intends to get to me one of these days, though he can’t seem to locate it at the moment. I really hope he does soon, since, from my understanding at least, it seems to be a collection of recollections from WCSA students during the war period.

I haven’t talked to Colm in a little bit, though I intend to sometime this weekend in order to get an idea of where he is at research-wise. Getting to the museum is still on my list of things to do, but I want to make sure I don’t go through anything he’s already looked through when I get there.

Next week I intend to dive further into the archives and hopefully the archivist will have a better idea of the whereabouts of that source by then!

 

Collections and Masons and Archives, oh my!

In case you couldn’t tell, we (the four of us from Mary Washington) had quite the busy and successful week!  Which was a relief considering that we unfortunately could not gather much information last week while we were snowed in for a majority of the week.  Luckily we survived the “snowpocalypse” and made up for lost time by going to Special Collections here at UMW, the Masonic Lodge downtown, and the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.

This past Tuesday we visited Special Collections in the Simpson Library, and were aided by the always helpful and sweet Ms. Parsons.  This was the first time I had ever been inside the archive (pathetic, I know, considering this is my last semester and I’m a history major) and I was really quite fascinated by all of the artifacts that have been stored and preserved throughout our school’s history.  While Leah, Jack, and I were there, we looked through President Russell’s papers since he was the president during World War I.  Many of the documents were correspondence with faculty members, and we noticed that towards 1918, after America had joined the war, many professors asked for salary increases to accommodate the rising prices for food and other necessities.  Of other significance, there were many references to students and faculty falling ill due to the influenza epidemic of 1918, and the chair of the history department, Virginia Goolrick, died from the sickness.  Though this was definitely a sad way to view life at the university, we did not find that the war itself greatly impacted the campus community, or at least not directly.

Our second adventure this week was a bit out of the ordinary – on a whim we had decided to contact the Masonic Lodge since they have been around since the eighteenth century, and they quickly got in touch with us to arrange a meeting since they were quite interested in our project.  On Wednesday night, Jack, Leah, and I were able to step into the Lodge to see what they had to offer.  (And to experience National Treasure first hand!  Not really, but it was still pretty neat.)  The two men we talked with were the Lodge historian and the current Grand Master of the Lodge, and both were super interested in assisting us with our research.  They gave us plenty of information about the Lodge and about Masonry in general, which was all very interesting and gave us a good idea of the background and how the organization functioned.  They didn’t particularly have many artifacts or pictures from the World War I, but they did offer us names of members who served in the military or in public office.  A couple of names stuck out, such as John T. Goolrick, William Mosely Brown, and Josiah P. Rowe, Jr. (who I will return to later).  Thanks to names like these, we were able to make connections and picture how the Fredericksburg community operated and interacted with one another during this time.

Finally, finally, FINALLY, we were able to go to the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center!!!  We spent our Saturday morning, arriving at 9am, at the CRHC since their hours are not the most conducive for college students who have a majority of their classes during the small window of time in which the center operates.  The experience was a little intense for me, just because I felt like I was being watched constantly and I was terrified I would mess up anything and everything I looked at.  It makes complete sense that the volunteers are worried about the precious pieces of history that they allow us to view, but I definitely was much more anxious there than I was in Special Collections under the eye of Ms. Parsons.  Luckily for me, I didn’t peruse many of the old documents; instead, I leafed through the published letters of Josiah P. Rowe, Jr. (I said I’d return to him) during his time in Europe as an aviator.  The letters were extremely fascinating, especially because he discussed in detail his escapades with “the fairer sex” in correspondence with his mother, which I found a bit strange.  I wasn’t quite sure how much these letters would tell us about the home front, but they were actually quite useful in pointing out the agony that Rowe felt while overseas without ever seeing the face of a familiar “Fredericksburger” .  Rowe also made note of the care packages, letters, and copies of the local newspaper, The Daily Star, that he received while in the service.  The story was a happy one, ending with Rowe’s orders to return home to Fredericksburg.

All in all, I was quite pleased that we accomplished so much in a week, especially given our setback thanks to the sweater weather that’s been sneaking up on us.  We were thankfully able to find some extremely helpful leads, and so now can begin thinking about how we want to organize our site – so far, we think thematically might be the way to go, but that’s by no means set in stone.  As far as the archival experience, I’ve definitely learned in this short amount of time that it helps to always be prepared with pencils, patience, and a positive attitude when working with others, especially those who are extremely invested in the well-being and conditions of their artifacts.

Collections and Masons and Archives, oh my!

In case you couldn’t tell, we (the group working on the Century America project) had quite the busy and successful week!  Which was a relief considering that we unfortunately could not gather much information last week while we were snowed in for a majority of the week.  Luckily we survived the “snowpocalypse” and made up for lost time by going to Special Collections here at UMW, the Masonic Lodge downtown, and the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.

This past Tuesday we visited Special Collections in the Simpson Library, and were aided by the always helpful and sweet Ms. Parsons.  This was the first time I had ever been inside the archive (pathetic, I know, considering this is my last semester and I’m a history major) and I was really quite fascinated by all of the artifacts that have been stored and preserved throughout our school’s history.  While Leah, Jack, and I were there, we looked through President Russell’s papers since he was the president during World War I.  Many of the documents were correspondence with faculty members, and we noticed that towards 1918, after America had joined the war, many professors asked for salary increases to accommodate the rising prices for food and other necessities.  Of other significance, there were many references to students and faculty falling ill due to the influenza epidemic of 1918, and the chair of the history department, Virginia Goolrick, died from the sickness.  Though this was definitely a sad way to view life at the university, we did not find that the war itself greatly impacted the campus community, or at least not directly.

Our second adventure this week was a bit out of the ordinary – on a whim we had decided to contact the Masonic Lodge since they have been around since the eighteenth century, and they quickly got in touch with us to arrange a meeting since they were quite interested in our project.  On Wednesday night, Jack, Leah, and I were able to step into the Lodge to see what they had to offer.  (And to experience National Treasure first hand!  Not really, but it was still pretty neat.)  The two men we talked with were the Lodge historian and the current Grand Master of the Lodge, and both were super interested in assisting us with our research.  They gave us plenty of information about the Lodge and about Masonry in general, which was all very interesting and gave us a good idea of the background and how the organization functioned.  They didn’t particularly have many artifacts or pictures from the World War I, but they did offer us names of members who served in the military or in public office.  A couple of names stuck out, such as John T. Goolrick, William Mosely Brown, and Josiah P. Rowe, Jr. (who I will return to later).  Thanks to names like these, we were able to make connections and picture how the Fredericksburg community operated and interacted with one another during this time.

Finally, finally, FINALLY, we were able to go to the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center!!!  We spent our Saturday morning, arriving at 9am, at the CRHC since their hours are not the most conducive for college students who have a majority of their classes during the small window of time in which the center operates.  The experience was a little intense for me, just because I felt like I was being watched constantly and I was terrified I would mess up anything and everything I looked at.  It makes complete sense that the volunteers are worried about the precious pieces of history that they allow us to view, but I definitely was much more anxious there than I was in Special Collections under the eye of Ms. Parsons.  Luckily for me, I didn’t peruse many of the old documents; instead, I leafed through the published letters of Josiah P. Rowe, Jr. (I said I’d return to him) during his time in Europe as an aviator.  The letters were extremely fascinating, especially because he discussed in detail his escapades with “the fairer sex” in correspondence with his mother, which I found a bit strange.  I wasn’t quite sure how much these letters would tell us about the home front, but they were actually quite useful in pointing out the agony that Rowe felt while overseas without ever seeing the face of a familiar “Fredericksburger” .  Rowe also made note of the care packages, letters, and copies of the local newspaper, The Daily Star, that he received while in the service.  The story was a happy one, ending with Rowe’s orders to return home to Fredericksburg.

All in all, I was quite pleased that we accomplished so much in a week, especially given our setback thanks to the sweater weather that’s been sneaking up on us.  We were thankfully able to find some extremely helpful leads, and so now can begin thinking about how we want to organize our site – so far, we think thematically might be the way to go, but that’s by no means set in stone.  As far as the archival experience, I’ve definitely learned in this short amount of time that it helps to always be prepared with pencils, patience, and a positive attitude when working with others, especially those who are extremely invested in the well-being and conditions of their artifacts.

Storming the Archives

After agonizing weeks of waiting, we finally made it to the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center! All four of us made it, and we found some excellent resources–as we had hoped we would. We looked through many items, some of them useful, and some of them not. We started with Battlefield yearbooks, because they were the easiest items for the volunteers to pull. The CRHC has a very strict policy about copies and photos, but luckily the Battlefield yearbooks are digitized and available on the Internet Archive. The yearbooks had cool tidbits of information here and there that we can hopefully incorporate into the project about the homefront experience, and the ones before US entry into the war give us a good picture of how SNS was relatively unaffected by the war until 1917. I got to look through the 1915 Battlefield yearbook, and the Alumnae Pages had an interesting (and amusing) quote from an SNS graduate, Kathleen White: “She is much excited over the European War, and being a patriotic Canadian, she expresses a desire to enlist if worst comes to worst.”

Image copyright Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.

Image copyright Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.

Candice got to look at some postcards, and one of them is amazing! It depicts soldiers lying on the ground, holding their weapons and says “On The Firing Line.”  It is from a man named Emmett to his Grandma. He writes: “Dear Grandma. Am at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. Saw Dr. Pratt today. I don’t know where I’ll go from here. Love to all. Emmett.”

Image copyright Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.

Image copyright Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.

Image copyright Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.

Image copyright Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.

Candice also went through a collection of items from the Knox family and put together an awesome Google doc for us with lots of information about them! It contained personal letters, newspaper articles, a family history, photographs, recipes, and more. Another item that we were looking forward to getting our hands on was the homefront diary of Mary Eastburn–Jack got to look at these diaries and they are absolutely amazing! They are an excellent source of information about the homefront, like prices for goods and material shortages. We definitely want to construct a homefront timeline, and these diaries will most likely form the crux of it. Jack has already set to work entering the information into the Timeline tool that we learned about earlier this week. I’m so excited to see how everything turns out in the end! We would like to get digital images of the diary, but unfortunately that will have to wait for a little while, due to the CRHC’s policies and the expense of actually getting the digital images ($2.00 per image). Candice and I looked through several letters from the Stearns sisters, but they didn’t seem to be relevant to WWI. They made no mention of the war, but it is possible that other letters in the collection do–the collection is quite large and has not been cataloged yet. However, unless we end up with ample amounts of time to go through this collection, it doesn’t seem like the letters will be useful to us.

The last item I looked at before I left the CRHC was a book of minutes from the Mary Washington Hospital Association. It ran from 1913 to 1919, so I actually started at the back of the book first, thinking that I would come across mentions of the war sooner from that direction. The January 21, 1919 entry mentioned Liberty Bonds that the association purchased, and several entries from 1918 mention the “question of coal,” which may have been related to war shortages. Interestingly enough, the books of minutes skips almost an entire year–it goes from October 6, 1918 to October 15, 1919. This jump in time startled me, especially because the fall of 1918 was when the influenza epidemic hit Fredericksburg in full force, so I was expecting to find some entries making mention of the virus. It is a very conspicuous absence of information, and Jack and I are wondering if the association kept a separate book of minutes during the time period that is missing. We shall see! We didn’t finish looking through the book, so when we return to the CRHC I would like to skim over the rest of it.

I’m very pleased with our progress and really looking forward to seeing what more we can find!

Interesting Finds in the Archives:
“The time has come” the Walrus said, “to talk of many things.” (1915 Battlefield Yearbook)
A woman at the Mary Washington Hospital caused a large controversy when she gave birth to a child and then put it into the hospital’s furnace, unbeknownst to hospital staff.

Special Collections and the Masonic Lodge

photo 2 It has been another exciting week for us at UMW! Our group found more items in the Special Collections here at UMW that will be really valuable for our project.  Jack, Julia, and I went back to Special Collections yesterday and spent 2.5 hours looking through President Russell’s papers.  I was hoping to find speeches given by President Russell that are mentioned in the October 1917 Normal School bulletin, but the papers held by UMW seem to deal more with administrative matters like reports to school boards and hiring teachers.  However, we did find other very valuable resources.  It seems that many teachers and employees who sought reappointment in 1918 asked for salaries, and several of them cited the much higher cost of goods and their inability to afford such on their current salaries.  Presumably, these high prices were a direct effect of the war in Europe, and these requests are great examples of not only how World War I affected the economy in general, but also how it affected daily life for people at the State Normal School in Fredericksburg.  We have all also been extremely eager to find documents that address the effect that the influenza epidemic had upon the school’s population.  Julia found a 1918 list of students who had missed a significant number of days, and many of them were listed as having had an “illness.”  Later I found what at the time appeared to be a gold mine of information on the influenza at the State Normal School…until I realized that it was a report for the State Normal School in Harrisonburg (there were four State Normal Schools at this time: Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Farmville, and Radford).  (It was very interesting to see, though, that the SNS in Harrisonburg was so afflicted with influenza that it turned one of its residence halls, Jackson Hall, into a temporary hospital because the infirmary was so overcrowded–it could only fit 12 patients.  The school suspended classes for at least two weeks!)  After some more digging and locating a seemingly lost folder of President Russell’s papers, we finally found the Fredericksburg school’s report that mentioned influenza!  Huzzah!  It seems that, comparatively, the SNS in Fredericksburg was not as severely affected by the epidemic as Harrisonburg was–we only closed for 8 days.  Still, a significant portion of the student body and faculty/staff came down with virus.  Unfortunately, Death came to Fredericksburg: Virginia Goolrick, the Head of the History Department, succumbed to the disease and died within a few days of contracting it.  While I was reading the influenza report, Jack was looking at financial records, and found that he could corroborate the dates of the epidemic, and from a monetary standpoint we could see how heavily the virus affected the school.  During the months of the epidemic (fall 1918), the spending of the infirmary shot through the roof, approaching $500!  We had a very productive day in the Special Collections, and marked down what we wanted to go back and digitize for the project.  At this point, I’m not quite sure how we will incorporate everything into the site, but I think at the very least a timeline would be a good feature for the site.  I would definitely like to work in document images as well.

This evening (Thursday, January 29) we continued our archival work, this time venturing to the Masonic Lodge in Historic Downtown Fredericksburg.  We were very excited to visit the Lodge because the Freemasons have a rich and complex history, and we hoped that they would have some good materials for us to look at.  The Masons were delighted that we sought them out for help and are eager to help us with our research–they want a copy of the site/research once everything is completed!  The historian at the Lodge is fairly new (he took on the position in December), and the archivist was not at the Lodge to assist us.  However, as we talked with the historian and the Grand Master, we got some great preliminary information about the Freemasons and their involvement in society, prominent Masons of Fredericksburg at the time.  The Grand Master graciously gave us a copy of their history, written by a Brother, which has a page discussing the Masons’ activities during WWI.  They didn’t have many archival resources for us to look at tonight, but it was more of a preliminary meeting, so that we could meet with them and explain our project in-depth, to give them a better idea of what kind of resources we are searching for.  The Lodge is in the midst of cataloging and digitizing its archives, which will be beneficial to our project.  Once the secretary and archivist are apprised of our project, I am sure they will have some interesting resources for us to look at, like photographs and meeting minutes.  I’m very excited to see what they can find for us!

photo 1

Archival Survey–Great Finds!

My colleagues and I at UMW have compiled a (lengthy) list of archival resources that will be valuable for this project.  Jack and I went to UMW’s Special Collections this past week and found some great items!  One is a student scrapbook, which contains pictures that show us what the State Normal School was like during WWI.  In addition, several of these pictures show female students posing with males dressed in uniform.  Our initial thought for this scrapbook is to create a digital image gallery or scrapbook.

Another excellent resource at our Special Collections is the collection of academic catalogs and bulletins.  (As luck would have it, almost all of the catalogs and bulletins from the WWI era have been digitized and are searchable!)  These bulletins are excellent windows into what the State Normal School experienced during WWI.  For example, from these bulletins we know that SNS offered a special class during the war on food conservation, and we also know that two faculty members served in the military during the war.  (I am particularly excited about these bulletins–I think it’s so amazing to be able to see in such detail what the school was doing during WWI and how it adapted to new and different demands!)  We can also look through the President’s Papers of SNS and the school’s yearbooks, both of which should give us a further view of the school’s homefront experience.

The Central Rappahannock Heritage Center is another place that holds promising resources.  Using its online catalog, Candice located oral histories from the WWI era, two diaries that recount the homefront experience in Fredericksburg, and photographs and documents of Fredericksburg’s Washington Guard.  We are heading to CRHC this week to get a personal look at these resources–I’m excited to see what they have for us!

The Central Rappahannock Regional Library contains promising collections of postcards and oral histories.  The Virginiana Room contains special collections, several items of which pertain to the WWI era.  We are hoping to visit the Virginiana Room within the next week or so, in order to get a clearer picture of what resources it has to offer.

Although not necessarily local to Fredericksburg, the Virginia Historical Society is local to my home location and hold the Goolrick Family Papers, spanning from 1896-1927.  The Goolrick family was a very prominent family in Fredericksburg, so this collection may contain some valuable documents relative to our interests. I am hoping to visit the VHS soon to see some sections of the Goolrick Papers.  Other potential resources in Fredericksburg and Virginia exist, and we are in contact with people at these places, but for this post I have just highlighted what seem to be our most promising resources thus far.

First Progress Report…Only Just the Beginning!

I am very excited to be a part of this digital history experiment, and so far it is going very well for my colleagues and I! Julia, Candice, Jack, and I have found some great resources to start looking at.

Jack and I went to UMW’s University Archives on Tuesday to take a look at the collections that the archivist thought would be good places to start. Our University Archives have several items pertaining to WWI, but only a couple of them will be good sources for the homefront experience. One is a student’s scrapbook, and it contains pictures of female students with males dresses in military attire. Another resource that I think will be very helpful in elucidating the homefront experience is the academic catalogs and bulletins of the school (at that time it was called the State Normal School). The first one that we found that made a mention of the war was the October 1917 Bulletin. It is entitled “Patriotism Through Local History Conservation in War Time Reorganization of English School Activities”–we struck gold!

Luckily, many of the school’s academic catalogs and bulletins have been digitized and are available on the Internet Archive, and we can search these digitized sources for key terms like “war” and “crisis,” in order to assist our research. We are going to look through these sources more, as they seem to hold promising information about the homefront experience of the State Normal School during WWI.

We also have a list of other local resources and organizations that we are contacting in order to find more research materials. This upcoming Thursday we are taking a trip to the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center to look at the WWI resources they hold. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us–this is only just the beginning!