Monday, June 18, 2007

Posting Charles M. Hamilton's Freedmen's Bureau Papers

Among my main reasons for this starting this blog was my imagining the creation of a virtual file cabinet. A significant amount of the material I collected during research of the Fleishman and Hamilton articles does not appear in print. For example, while I cite many newspapers and letters, the complete text of those sources, obviously, are not contained in the articles. I am uncomfortable, however, with the depository of these primary sources being a drawer in my basement. With no proprietary interest in keeping the contents of these sources to myself, I originally envisioned putting this information on-line, searcheable and discoverable by other researchers. I initially transcribed Hamilton's Freedmen's Bureau papers in order to conveniently search the text of Hamilton's monthly reports and miscellaneous letters from 1866 and 1867. Currently, I am considering ways of posting those papers, whether as full text, or as links. Another, more ambitious project that I am considering is creating a virtual Marianna Courier. I can find only one intact 1873 copy of that newspaper from the reconstruction period at the New York Historical Society. Many excerpts from the Courier, however, do exist having been reprinted in other local newspapers, a number of copies of which sit in my files. If they could be scanned (I don't have the patience to transcribe them all), they could be posted on the net and added to with subsequent findings.