Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Uncommon Sense—the blog

OI History: Tales from Former Apprentices, Part 4

· September 26th, 2018 · 1 Comment

As part of our seventy-fifth anniversary, we at the Omohundro Institute continue to reflect on what makes our institution such a special place. One of those things is our Apprenticeship in Historical Editing. Today’s guest post comes from former apprentice Kevin Butterfield who is now the Executive Director of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon.

“A Style Sheet for a Career in History”

By Kevin Butterfield

Earlier today, as I was about to meet with a colleague who had some editorial questions about indexing, I did something I’ve done hundreds of times over the last two decades: I pulled out my red spiral-bound “Style Sheet for Authors” (rev. ed., 1992) put together by the Books program at the then Omohundro-less Institute for Early American History and Culture. I got the utterly and perpetually useful guide when I was an apprentice in the late 1990s; I used it still more when I stayed on for a year working full time for Gil Kelly and Fredrika Teute at the IEAHC (which officially got its O while I was there, actually); and I used it nearly daily for years while working in academic publishing.

Now that I’ve gone through a few more career transitions, somehow the style guide still comes through for me. It’s unabashedly traditional in its approach, though as the booklet itself notes “this conservatism stems from the care with which they [the editors] attempt to prepare copy for publication, not from blind attachment to old forms” (1). And I can appreciate now, looking back, how important it was for me that my earliest moments moving from an undergraduate to a postgraduate mindset were shaped by the Institute’s infamous attentiveness to detail—or, better put, “the care with which they attempt to prepare copy for publication.”

When I came to William & Mary from the University of Missouri, as a first-generation college student and as someone who loved history but didn’t really know much about how to go about doing history, I had the amazing good fortune to be invited into the editorial apprenticeship program. I must have been a late invite—I got the news so late that I couldn’t even make it to the pre-semester training sessions—so the serendipity/dumb luck of it all still gets me. Either I did well enough at it (much of the first semester involved checking quotes for Chris Grasso’s A Speaking Aristocracy, I remember, on nauseating microcards) or they were hard up for help, but I was asked to stay on the following year. Then, I learned even more from Gil, Ginny Chew, and Kathy Burdette about how and why copyeditors do what they do to the manuscripts handed them. And, just as important, I learned from visiting Books editor Jim Horn and, on her return, Fredrika how and why acquisitions editors had chosen those manuscripts in the first place. It was a tremendous school for a possibly budding historian.

The Institute’s editors made such an impression on me that I even stopped trying to be a historian, albeit briefly. I instead stayed in academic publishing, working at Northern Illinois University Press, for the next four or five years and making the most of my training. Later, when I did decide to return to graduate school, I worked with legal historian David Konig (whose work I had actually first encountered while copyediting The Many Legalities of Early America project), and I had a set of skills and a mindset that could only have come from editorial work. I was one of the lucky ones. I had been given a chance to make it in an academic world filled with people smarter than me, because I had, at the very least, a few skills and a zealous fastidiousness that many others hadn’t had a chance to develop.

It made a difference, somehow. I wound up with a great tenure-track job at the University of Oklahoma, where I received tenure in 2016. I wrote and published a not-terrible legal history of early American civil society, though obviously the copyeditor and I had a few good-natured disagreements. And now I sit at Mount Vernon as the new director of George Washington’s presidential library, thinking about library acquisitions that involve Christie’s and Sotheby’s catalogs, educational programs that span the continent, and research fellowship programs that aim to bring the best and the brightest to work here on the estate. I can’t imagine any of this happening without those first experiences at the Institute. And I’m glad I kept the handouts.

Stay tuned for part 5 of OI History: “Tales from Former Apprentices.”

One Response

  1. […] Over the past several weeks we’ve heard from some of our former apprentii– Anna Roberts, Kevin Butterfield, Martha J. King, J. Frederick Fausz, Sherry Babbitt, and Sean Harvey have all shared wonderful […]

Leave a Reply

agen judi bola , sportbook, casino, togel, number game, singapore, tangkas, basket, slot, poker, dominoqq, agen bola. Semua permainan bisa dimainkan hanya dengan 1 ID. minimal deposit 50.000 ,- bonus cashback hingga 10% , diskon togel hingga 66% bisa bermain di android dan IOS kapanpun dan dimana pun. poker , bandarq , aduq, domino qq , bandarqq online terpercaya. Semua permainan bisa dimainkan hanya dengan 1 ID. minimal deposit 10.000 ,- bonus turnover 0.5% dan bonus referral 20%. Bonus - bonus yang dihadirkan bisa terbilang cukup tinggi dan memuaskan, anda hanya perlu memasang pada situs yang memberikan bursa pasaran terbaik yaitu Bola168. Situs penyedia segala jenis permainan poker online kini semakin banyak ditemukan di Internet, salah satunya TahunQQ merupakan situs Agen Judi Domino66 Dan BandarQ Terpercaya yang mampu memberikan banyak provit bagi bettornya. Permainan Yang Di Sediakan Dewi365 Juga sangat banyak Dan menarik dan Peluang untuk memenangkan Taruhan Judi online ini juga sangat mudah . Mainkan Segera Taruhan Sportbook anda bersama Agen Judi Bola Bersama Dewi365 Kemenangan Anda Berapa pun akan Terbayarkan. Tersedia 9 macam permainan seru yang bisa kamu mainkan hanya di dalam 1 ID saja. Permainan seru yang tersedia seperti Poker, Domino QQ Dan juga BandarQ Online. DEWI365 adalah Bandar Judi Bola Terpercaya & resmi dan terpercaya di indonesia. Situs judi bola ini menyediakan fasilitas bagi anda untuk dapat bermain memainkan permainan judi bola. Didalam situs ini memiliki berbagai permainan taruhan bola terlengkap seperti Sbobet, yang membuat DEWI365 menjadi situs judi bola terbaik dan terpercaya di Indonesia. Tentunya sebagai situs yang bertugas sebagai Bandar Poker Online pastinya akan berusaha untuk menjaga semua informasi dan keamanan yang terdapat di POKERQQ13. DEWI365 adalah Bandar Judi Bola Terpercaya & resmi dan terpercaya di indonesia. Situs judi bola ini menyediakan fasilitas bagi anda untuk dapat bermain memainkan permainan judi bola. Kotakqq adalah situs Judi Poker Online Terpercayayang menyediakan 9 jenis permainan sakong online, dominoqq, domino99, bandarq, bandar ceme, aduq, poker online, bandar poker, balak66, perang baccarat, dan capsa susun. Dengan minimal deposit withdraw 15.000 Anda sudah bisa memainkan semua permaina pkv games di situs kami. Jackpot besar,Win rate tinggi, Fair play, PKV Games. BandarQ Online Situs BandarQQ, BandarQ Terpercaya, Mainkan QQ Uang Asli Dengan Server Pkv Games & Mainkan SitusQQ Online Melalui Deposit Pulsa.