Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Uncommon Sense—the blog

An invitation to collaborate

· October 24th, 2019 · No Comments

The Omohundro Institute is pleased to sponsor a fellowship with the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon for the digitization and interpretation of records related to the American Founding Era. Similar to the OI’s Digital Collections fellowship, the program aims to bring archivists, librarians and scholars together for work that benefits the entire community of early Americanists.

Applications for the OI–Mount Vernon Fellowships for Digital Collections are due NOVEMBER 1 via this website.

by Jim Ambuske

The historian’s craft is a collaborative enterprise. For all of the long days and quiet nights we spend laboring in the archives or in front of computer screens, many of our best insights, discoveries, and claims rest on contributions from our colleagues.

This is especially true in the digital realm. Collaboration has long been a hallmark of the digital humanities and digital history, which leverages the expertise of humanists and technologists to produce new knowledge about the past or create the means to do so.

That is why the Washington Library at Mount Vernon is very excited to collaborate with the Omohundro Institute to offer the OI-Mount Vernon Fellowships for Digital Collections in the American Founding Era. The OI-Mount Vernon Fellowship builds on the OI’s leadership in digital history and its efforts to create digital collections that enrich our understanding of Vast Early America. By offering grants to foster new research into the American Revolution and Early Republic, our goal is to inspire partnerships between scholars and archival repositories that lead to the digitization of primary sources from the Founding Era. 

The OI-Mount Vernon Fellowship has three main objectives: support scholarly work, aid in the digital preservation of rare materials, and broaden access to sources that raise new questions about the late eighteenth century. True, an individual person alone could perform these tasks, but all preservation and scholarly work involves considerable labor, time, and expense.

Creating a collaborative space backed by meaningful financial support in which librarians, archivists, and scholars share knowledge and resources to accomplish something greater—and hopefully unexpected—is at this fellowship’s heart.  The Washington Library is delighted to join with the OI in an effort to explore the Vast World of the Founding Generation.

Jim Ambuske, Ph.D.
Digital Historian
The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

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