Archive for History

Sir Richard Bulstrode, 1610 – 1711

What is memorable about Sir Richard Bulstrode is not his longevity, which is remarkable in and of itself given the lack of medical care during the 17th century, but the network of correspondence that this diplomat engaged in. “… the Pforzheimer collection [Harry Ransom Center, University of Texan at Austin] preserves over 1,450 handwritten newsletters that were sent from offices in London to Richard Bulstrode between 1667 and 1689 while he was stationed in Brussels. These newsletters contained proprietary information for their subscribers about proceedings in parliament, activities of the military and royal family, and court gossip that could not be printed in public newspapers. As reciprocation for this service, Bulstrode and other subscribers around the English realm and Europe mailed accounts of news and politics from their host regions along with copies of local newspapers back to London.”

The Bulstrode Papers, contained in the invaluable series Catalogue of the Collection of Autograph Letters and Historical Documents, present these newsletters in modern transcriptions along with editorial apparati. They are a treasure house of information and are considered a logical successor to Pepys’ diaries, extending coverage from 1667 to 1675.

His writings were published posthumously. They include: Memoirs and reflections upon the reign and government of King Charles the 1st. and K. Charles the IId … wherein the character of the royal martyr, and of King Charles II. are vindicated from fanatical aspersions.
Written by Sir Richard Bulstrode. Now first published from his original manuscript (1721), and ¬†¬† Miscellaneous essays: Viz. I. Of company and conversation. … XIII. Of old age (1715)

Two recent monographs that explore the dissemination of news during Bulstrode’s time are: News Networks in Early Modern Europe (2016) and Travelling Chronicles: News and Newspapers from the Early Modern Period to the Eighteenth Century (2018).

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Letters of President James Polk

A pivotal figure during the Mexican War, Polk’s letters, while published in a scholarly edition, were not available freely online. That has since changed and you can now read the fourteen volumes of his correspondence.

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“Boroughitis” in Bergen County

This year 2019 will mark for many towns in Bergen County their 125th anniversary; that year saw many newly incorporated towns/villages being created. To read up on this, please consult this most informative research; this brief newspaper article summarizes the events.

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Archival Publications Online

Back in the day when I was pursuing a doctorate in medieval history, my “C” field was archival studies. I was involved in various field operations, among them were American Irish Historical Society and the Archives of American Art. I was so enthralled¬†with this field that I seriously considered following it as my career path, but library science presented a stronger calling. But the inclinations of an archivist are never far from the surface, and that is why I am so glad to point out that many of the Society of American Archivists publications are freely available online, from the classics authored by Posner and Schellenbach to multiple issues of The American Archivist. For those grounded in historical research, these resources will provide an introduction to this ever-evolving and fascinating field.

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The First Associated Press Report on D-Day

We have covered this monumental event previously. Here is the original AP report on the landings as filed by Don Whitehead, aka “Beachhead Don”.

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Historian Robert Caro and Doing Research in the Digital Age

This is an enlightening interview of interest to anyone who does historical research.

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OAH Distinguished Lectures

The Organization of American Historians has a YouTube channel featuring eminent historians discussing certain topics ranging from the War of 1812 to the 1960s. Each lecture runs between about an hour and an hour and a half. Well worth a visit. And let’s not forget the OAH’s podcast series.

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