The Omohundro Institute is pleased to announce the 2017 (and first) recipients of the Lapidus Initiative Fellowships for Digital Collections. The purpose of these fellowships is to bring scholars and collections specialists together to digitize, and in turn, make widely available, important early American archival materials.
Andrew Sluyter and Lauren Coats will digitize approximately 1400 surveys, housed by Louisiana State University Libraries, that mapped land claims in Spanish Louisiana at the close of the eighteenth and opening of the nineteenth centuries. These surveys provide a comprehensive overview of the patterns of land and life in Spanish Louisiana on the eve of its integration into the territory of the United States. These records will be made available through the open-access Louisiana Digital Library maintained by LSU Libraries.
Nicholas Gliserman will digitize, transcribe, and encode the diaries and correspondence created by members of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends in the course of establishing and supporting a Quaker mission to the Seneca Country between the years 1795 and 1820. This manuscript collection aids in documenting Native-Quaker relations in the eighteenth century. These records are currently housed at the Quaker & Special Collections of Haverford College and will be uploaded to expand Haverford’s existing Beyond Penn’s Treaty website.
Stephen Mullen will digitize the Stirling of Keir collection held at Glasgow City Archives at the Mitchell Library. The collection includes mid-eighteenth-century records, such as invoices, letter and account books, associated with two sugar plantations in Jamaica—Hampden in St. James and Frontier in St. Mary. The digitization of these sources will allow historians to compare economic and social conditions of sugar estates across the Atlantic world as well as consider the lived experiences of master and enslaved in the British Caribbean. After digitization, the records will be accessible via a website associated with the Mitchell Library.
Thanks to the generosity of Sid and Ruth Lapidus, and the work of the Lapidus Initiative Advisory Group*, these digitization projects will provide exciting opportunities for future scholarship on early America.
*The Lapidus Initiative Advisory Group is