Georgian Papers Programme Public Symposium
Articles Blog

Georgian Papers Programme Public Symposium

September 9, 2019

>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington DC.>>Mark Sweeney: Good
afternoon and welcome to the Library of Congress. I’m Mark Sweeney, the acting
Deputy Librarian of Congress. And it’s my pleasure
to welcome you to the library’s historic Thomas
Jefferson Building for which to this afternoon’s symposium,
the first public event in the United States related to
the Georgian Papers Programme. Launched in April of 2015, the Georgian Papers Programme
is a collaborative effort led by King’s College London and
the Royal Collection Trust to make an accessible and
extraordinary rich collection of primary source material
from the Georgian monarchs, including King George III,
the British monarch in power when the American colonies
declared independence. Comprising nearly 350,000
pages of correspondents, maps, and royal household
ledgers, the Georgian Papers, 85% of which have been
unknown to scholars until now, stand to revolutionize
our understanding of 18th century British,
American, and Atlantic history, an era of profound
cultural, political, economic, and social change in many ways
continues to influence us today. Last year, in one of the first
acts as Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden
signed an agreement with King’s College London
and the Royal Collection Trust to collaborate on
digitization, dissemination, and interpretation of the
papers of King George III and the other Georgian
Papers’ materials. Over the next four years, the Georgian Papers
Programme promises to reveal many more dimensions to Britain’s longest reigning
king, allowing scholars and the general public a
unique window into the life and times of King George III. The Library of Congress
holds the papers of numerous United States
founders, including those of George Washington, offering
historical context when paired with the documents of
the Georgian Papers. As such, it is quite
fitting for us to actively embrace this
project, and my colleagues and I are delighted to partner
with our peers both here in the United States
and across the pond. The Omohundro Institute
of Early American History and Culture is the
primary US partner for the Georgian
Papers Programme. The Library of Congress
joins the Sons of the American Revolution and the Mount Vernon Ladies’
Association as a critical part of the American Collaboration. This afternoon’s
symposium is hosted by the John W. Kluge Center
at the Library of Congress in partnership with
the Omohundro Institute and King’s College London. The Kluge Center brings together
scholars and researchers from around the world
to stimulate and energize one
another to distill wisdom from the library’s rich
resources and to interact with policymakers and
the general public. In a few moments, we will
hear from four scholars who were recently
among the first to examine the Georgian
Papers held at Windsor Castle. Each scholar’s presentation will
reveal their early findings, describing for us some of the remarkable historical
discoveries that are being made. But before introducing them, a few important announcements
related to the library’s participation
in Georgian Papers Programme. First, a major exhibition, the
Two Georges is planned for 2020, 2021 to explore the overlapping
worlds of King George III and George Washington, two
globally significant figures of the late 18th century. The exhibition, exploring the
commonalities and contrast between the two men and
the global, political, and cultural context of their
lives will open first here at the Library of Congress and subsequently at
a venue in London. More details to come on
this exciting project as it continues to develop. And second, for those of
you who may be inspired by today’s event,
the library is proud to announce a new
Georgian Papers fellowship. Interested scholars may apply
for a two-month fellowship to pursue independent
research in the Georgian Papers of the Royal Archives at Windsor and in the Early American
Collection at the Library of Congress with one month
in residence in London and one month in residence
here at the library. The application deadline for the
Georgian Papers fellowship is January 31, 2018, and the
fellowship recipient will be selected based on the
relevance of their project for research at both
institutions. For more details, please
visit the Kluge Center website at Finally, the Library
of Congress would like to thank our
generous donors, Beverly and Lyman Hamilton, members of the library’s private-sector
support group, the John– the James Madison Council, for
making this program possible. We are delighted that Beverly
Hamilton is in the audience. Mrs. Hamilton, would you
please stand and be recognized. Thank you. [ Applause ] I will now turn the podium
over to my colleague, Dr. Colleen Shogan, deputy
director for National and International Outreach
here at the library. Colleen is our Georgian Papers
Programme project manager, and she’s going to handle the
remainder of today’s program. Colleen. Thank you.>>Dr. Colleen J.
Shogan: Thank you, Mark, for those terrific
introductory remarks. What a terrific moment
in history for this Anglo-American
collaboration. Of course, through the
Georgian Papers Programme, the United Kingdom is
providing greater access to important documents
and papers that have gone largely
unexamined for many years. And the United States,
as we all know, well, we’re great exporters. Apparently these days, this
also includes princesses so– That’s a joke for old
folks, but we do want to wish congratulations to
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and we wish them the best. There’s a few people
I’d like to acknowledge in the room before we begin. First, the director of National and International
Outreach, Jane McAuliffe. Next, the director of the
Kluge Center, John Haskell. And then I’d also like
to introduce you to two of our exhibit– lead
exhibit members of our team for the Two Georges,
Julie Miller our historian and our curator for the
Early American collections and Cheryl Regan the
senior exhibit specialist in charge of the Two Georges. Lastly, I’d like to thank Travis
Hensley who worked very hard to put this program
together, also in conjunction with our special events team
here at the Library of Congress. There will be plenty of time
at the end of the program for questions, but we ask that
you hold all your questions and your thoughts until
the end of the program, after all the speakers
have spoken, and then they will
join us on stage to take all of your questions. So now, I’d like to introduce
our first speaker, Arthur Burns. We’re very happy that Arthur
was able to make the trip today from London to join us here
at the Library of Congress. Arthur is a professor of
Modern British History at King’s College London,
historian of the Church of England from the
18th to 20th centuries. He was one of the editors of
the prize-winning “St. Paul’s: The Cathedral Church
of London” published by Yale University Press in
2004, and is a director of one of the first large-scale
public-facing online history projects in the UK, The
Clergy of the Church of England Database
1540 to 1835, which he co-founded in 1999. And most important
for our purposes, he’s the academic director of
the Georgian Papers Programme. Arthur, the stage is yours.>>Arthur Burns: Thank
you very much, Colleen. And can I just say what a
pleasure it is to be here. It’s a really exciting
program for all of us involved. But to come here and speak
at the Library of Congress, as you can imagine, is
something of a treat. So thank you, everybody,
who’s made that possible. So, my task this afternoon is
to introduce the Georgian Papers and to say a little bit about
the project as a preface to the reflections you will
hear from my colleagues about their actual
researches into the program. So they will be giving you the
hardcore research findings. I’m going to try and give you a
sense about just how interesting and exciting a program this is. Now, I have to confess because
I’m a bit of an archives junkie. I’ve spent the last 30 years on and off investigating
the contents of archives across the UK, some of which
are state-of-the-art archives with the computer catalogs and
advanced access arrangements, and others which conform about the more popular
stereotype archives with stone clad vaults
and cobweb documents. The contents of which is
rather hard to predict since we’ve actually blown the
dust physically off the boxes and ledgers. On the other hand, in
my capacity as director of the clergy database
you just heard about, I’ve also had 20 years
experience working getting archival documents
online in the form where the wider public can
access them and scholars across the world
make use of them. So if you think of the
two unique selling points of Georgian Papers as
archival and online, you might think this just feel like another day at
the office for me. That’s far from it. The Georgian Papers
are different and I find myself absolutely
caught up in the excitement that all my colleagues
here feel for the project. I just hope I can get some of
that excitement across this. I’ve been told to be lively. I’ll do my best with my cold,
but we’ll see how we get on. So a good place to start. Well, maybe the actual archive in which the Georgian
Papers are held. Now in all kinds of ways,
this Windsor Castle conforms to the archive as
impenetrable treasure chest of popular imagination
and something of that I think is
captured in the documentary that BBC made a year ago to
introduce the Georgian Papers, “The Genius of the Mad King”. [ Music ]>>[Background Music] Windsor
Castle is the treasure chest of royal secrets. Here in the round tower
are the personal papers of all British monarchs
and their families from George III right down
to Elizabeth the second. They’ve always been
out of bounds, except to a few select
historians.>>Documents that really
you’re wanting to keep forever, you think about a
strong place to put them. And in the case of Windsor
Castle, the very strongest place to put them is inside
the round tower. And the round tower
is built on the site where William the Conqueror
founded the castle in 1070. And that settles the round tower
oval to the mid 12th century, so for very sensible and very
secure place to keep papers.>>Nowhere safer?>>Nowhere safer?>>What’s happening
here at the top of these 104 stone steps
is history of sorts too. Nearly two centuries
after George III’s death, all his private papers,
hundreds of thousands of them are being
released to the world. Now some may ask, why
has it taken so long? But here in this fortified royal
vault, it’s groundbreaking.>>Never before has a group of academics been allowed inside
the inner sanctum to rifle through these invaluable
documents. So the first visit of scholars
from King’s College London, partners in this project, was
a kind of royal revolution.>>If you could break
yourself into groups of three or four [inaudible]. [ Inaudible ]>>Arthur Burns: So that’s– So from now I’m reporting
on that fondling that was just described there. And I think that does capture
just how difficult an archive this has been to access in the
past, which is why we estimate, as you already heard, that
despite the obvious importance, only some 15% of the papers which it contains have
ever been published. In terms merely of its size,
with some 350,000 pages of documents to appear
by the time the program on digitization concludes,
this is clearly one of the most significant
caches of 18th and early 19th century papers that will be made
widely available to new audience for decades. And it’s not only a matter of
making available digital images of the documents online. The documents fit formally. You could only get
to it by going to sit in this glamorous reading room. It sometimes feels a bit
like the historical versions of prince and sleeping
beauties of hacking your way into the round tower together. Or indeed, so we’re going
to digitize them, yes. But of course, it’s not just
the question of digitization because some of the documents
are damaged and they have to be conserved first before
they could be made available. We also don’t have a proper
catalog of these documents. So a key aspect of the project
is going to be making a catalog so we actually can describe
these documents the way it should be confined with
appropriate metadata. And we’re probably going to
transcribe a fair number of them as well into machine
readable text, which for the first time enables
scholars really to engage with these documents
in a serious way. So, so far I think that document
should capture something important but it also obscures
one or two key features of the archives to make
it all the more intriguing to us scholars. And obviously one thing
that is obvious for this, we thought all about George III. We said George– that there’s
a lot about George III in here and George III is obviously
of particular interest with transatlantic audience because of his rather
painful role in the creation of your nation. And the sense also that
he has a very long reign. I mean he does stay around– the longest reigning
monarch we have. But it’s really important, don’t forget this archive
also contains papers relating to other monarchs, in
fact four of the monarchs. George I came to
the throne in 1714. His successor George II, who reigned until George
III succeeded him in 1760. And a much more significant
number of documents relating to George’s success of his
son George IV both as king and when he was Prince
of Wales and regent. And finally, there’s a smaller
bunch of documents that relate to the reign of William IV
under his death in 1837, Victoria took the throne. So the archive that gets
this inside is right across the Hanoverian
period which even without the American Revolution
would surely count as one of the most significant
periods of British history. Moreover, the archive also
contains papers relating to many other members
of the royal family, such as the monarchs’ consorts and children who’s often
owned rather turbulent lives– and there were some really
quite extraordinary life stories in the immediate
family of the king. Of equal interest to those
are the monarchs themselves. Secondly, I think the
emphasis in the documentary, the vault-like security
of Windsor Castle needs to be balanced by the fact that
these archives weren’t there for a long time and they didn’t
arrive there in the present form until the early 20th century. The bulk of the collection
has been left by George IV to the care of his executor,
who just happened to be the Duke of Wellington with
the instruction to be destroyed unread. Well, luckily for us, the
instruction was largely ignored and as was the collection
itself until it was rediscovered in 1912 in the basements of Wellington’s Apsley
House then transferred to its present home in 1914. So some records have
ever been consigned to the fire before it went
to Wellington are bits of the royal records which
clearly were not [inaudible] of Queen Charlotte’s
papers and disappeared. Some of George III’s early
papers have disappeared. And that’s the most
distressing one. The years when George is dealing
with the other [inaudible] in which a lot of
key policies relating to North America
were being discussed, some of those papers we
think are just missing. Others suffer from the
neglect in the interim. We do have damaged
documents from damp and all of those other things reflect
things have not properly been kept from the years
in Apsley House. And this means we don’t
therefore have a complete set of all these monarchs’ papers. But against that,
we can set the fact that these collections had been
augmented by gifts and purchases which extended coverage to many
key men and women of the court or the employee of the monarchs. And we were already finding
that some of the key discoveries that some of you will hear about later are being made
among these tapes of the papers that were those closely
associated with the king [inaudible]
the king himself. And those have not been
investigated anyway near as much as the papers of George III’s
own handwriting on them. And then there were odd
additional items and of such things of now that
are usually lurking under that catchall title,
miscellaneous in the catalog. And one such curiosity which
I think illustrates the kind of things you can find
there is a pair of letters from Admiral Lord Horatio
Nelson to Emma Hamilton. And you can see a
little bit of one here. Now, it’s not hard to
assess why these documents which have no immediate
or thorough connection with the royal family end
up in the royal archives in the 20th century for
in them Nelson warns Emma that he’s heard that the
Prince of Wales wants her for her mistress and he’s
trying to persuade her to stay out of any contact with him in any place lest this
happens [inaudible] of events today this document. The next [inaudible] is when you
would [inaudible] the evidence that we might then hear
because they also illustrate incidentally the force
of Nelson’s passion. I don’t know how good
your paleography is, but if you look closely
at the screen, you’ll see that in this excerpt
he declares his own feelings be so strong that, “I
might be trusted with 50 virgins naked
in a dark room.” So, that’s Lord Nelson. He was writing this after he’d
had his hand amputated as well, so we [inaudible] as he’s
dictating this to someone, which is hard to imagine, but
probably he taught himself to write with his other hand. So, it was a private
communication. It’s important to
emphasize, I think therefore that the sheer variety of
papers, the Georgian Papers, is a key part of the importance. And as we might expect,
both Andrew and Jim will show you shortly, discoveries in the papers
already shed new light on politics, both domestic and
international in the period, including the [inaudible]
relations of Britain and the North American colonies
and then the United States. But it goes also interactions with Europe during
the revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
and with other parts of the British Empire and
beyond, the Macartney mission to China for example
being one of those. And these are the
kind of revelations that we might all expect
from the monarchs’ papers. But there’s a lot
more to it than that. And this pie chart, which
is a work in progress, it changes every time I see it. It tries to analyze
what we’ve got in these papers in
breaking it down. And anyone who is good at taxonomy will instantly see
these are not a coherent set of categories because we
have some personal names of the [inaudible] themes
and therefore all kinds of overlaps are taking
place here within those broad
sways that’s labeled with a particular
monarch’s name. But even allowing for
all its weaknesses, this does give you a sense of
the sheer variety of papers which are in the documents
even before you take account of the variety hidden behind
those monarchs’ names. There’s lot here, for example,
the historian of science and medicine manifest– we know after that George III was
famously ill for a long time and awful lots of records
relating to the treatment and diagnosis of that illness
and that often painful reading, stuff relating to his
interest in scientific inquiry, relating to a magnificent
collection of scientific instruments that
my university is not fortunate to own but you can see
through our kindness in the science museum
where they were on display, a magnificent collection
of telescopes and [inaudible] and so on. But you’ll also get the emphasis
with the other family members and they suffer from
distress in large variety of illnesses between–
across the range of them. And you’ll find also lots of
stuff in their emotional lives, of all these princes and princesses often very
complex relationships often ending tragically. And again, anyone with an
interest in the history of interpersonal
relations or gender history from the people find awful lot
of [inaudible] material here. Then there were papers
relating to the workings of the royal households,
the knots and bolts of keeping the show on the road
in terms of food, provisioning, equipping the buildings
with objects, and so on. And that’s another very rich
dimension of the collection which we only just began to
think about historians of art, the book, or maps,
we’ll find documents that are absolutely vital to interpreting magnificent
collections of those objects held by the
British Library and at Windsor and anyone who’s
had a chance to look at the map collection
of George III. It’s an absolute
fantastic resource. If you didn’t travel, this
was how he knew the world. He looked at the
maps and pictures. And that’s how he understood
the world around him. And of course the [inaudible]
because they bought lots and lots of stuff, lots
of really important for art historians you could
do an awful lot of these lined up against the libraries
collections or against those in the British Library. Commissioning buildings,
commissioning paintings, commissioning music,
handle festivals, right, a part of George III’s life. So, something for everybody
is the basic message and exploring the
papers we’ll find a lot about English monarchy
but also about societies in which the monarchs lived
and also the societies in which they didn’t
live, those overseas in which [inaudible] to rule. And most– many of the
papers I think which relate to the less person
[inaudible] the monarch of those we know
the least about. And as we move into those,
I think it’s very hard to predict what we
find but there is going to be some major new
agendas I think set for researchers very
rapidly as we explore those. That said even where we’ve
had papers that’s already been published, the program
is shedding new light. And we can see for example,
where editions mistook or omitted or misinterpreted. And it’s very striking
for example that the very first
volume of published letters of George III came out in
the 1920s by the librarian, since then he produced a very
thick volume of correspondents. One of his colleagues was
so outraged by the quality of this edition that he then
published the hardback edition of corrections to that
volume, to volume one that was 100 pages long. And yet that’s the collection
we still have to work with. So, we’re going to put
these digitized images, we’re going to be looking
at those documents and new. But also of course when you look
at the document in manuscript or in the very high
quality digital and if you see something
quite different from when you look
at the printed page. If you look at George
III’s abdication letters when he’s drafting this
potential abdication speech, he thinks he might need to
give shortly after the loss of the American colonies. It’s one thing to read
the finished version. But you look at the original and you see the agonized
crossings out. You see the rethinking
that’s going on, something about the
psychological state of mind that comes across
[inaudible] in that form that simply could not be
reproduced even if you try to annotate a printed edition to
indicate all those corrections. And I think we look at them
fresh again, if we’re looking at them as a document
rather than as part of a narrative history where maybe this is
reproduced as a part of a story. And we know that he thought
of that abdication and we know that it’s part of the story
of George is agonizing after the end of
the American war. But nobody has ever
reported to say, well, where did you get the
idea of abdicating from? Because after all, this is was a
king who is very, very conscious of being a divinely authorized
and responsible person for his people, and yet here
he is starting to walk away, walk away at the
moment when he knows that this is a [inaudible]
no respect whatsoever as potential monarch. So how does he think this is an
exercise of his responsibilities to his maker if he’s doing that? So we can rethink the questions
we ask about these documents, I think, as we see
them as documents. Another way we see [inaudible]
part of bigger collection, because the proximity of
all these different themes in one collection reflects
the very real proximity of a monarchy where you
have a small court operating in a very intimate setting
with politicians and princesses and coaches and servants all in
a very limited particular space and of course all at
the heart of London, the leading world city
of the late 18th century. We could therefore have to
think quite harder what the interconnections are
among with those papers. And that takes me into the
final we’re going to talk about which is how we then
add value to these images into the collection of
objects we’re making public. And there is a fantastic
program of research that’s going on in association
with this program. Thanks to King’s and
the Omohundro Institute and the generosity of our
associates at Mount Vernon and the Sons of the
American Revolution which we’re enormously grateful,
now joined by the Library of Congress if you heard more than 35 scholars have already
been actively researching the Georgian Papers as Georgian
Papers fellows exploring the range of themes which match the
diversity of the archive itself. A particular relevance
this afternoon for example, we should note that the
Omohundro alone has now funded more than a dozen scholars
working on an American or Atlantic world
topics in this program. And that’s fantastic feature. And for me, it’s been terrific
because I’m a really bad example to kind of put a historian
who doesn’t ever look up to other places doing my work
and having to work alongside so many people working
in American themes such as illuminated so many
things I just wouldn’t have got to without this program. And I think that’s true of
a lot of British historians. There’s something special I
think as well about having so many people who can feedback
into the cataloging process because that’s going to help us
improve the means back to others because we’re thinking about what these documents
are all the time the scholars as well. And also the fact we were
working on one archive. And that for me says a really
special about this program. Quite often I go to campuses
and the biggest difference between me and the other people
there is we don’t use the same stuff and so we can’t
find an easy common ground on which to debate things. Here we have a load of scholars
doing extraordinary different things who’ve all been
physically working on the same papers. And we had a marvelous meeting
this September organized by Omohundro where we brought
together 14 or 15 of the people who already done work
to get papers and a lot of the others came as well. And the connections the people
were making of animal history through to the highest
politics you can imagine through the history of food
and the dining traditions of the monarchy, the points of sparking going off
suggesting people that you think about new dimensions
[inaudible] research on that context was
really wonderful. And I really do think that’s
going to be a big feature to the program as we go forward
is that we accumulate more and more of these fellows. And indeed, we’re now– as we’ve
gone digital, as we have more and more documents online,
that community doesn’t have to be just [inaudible], we
can have a digital community. Two weeks ago, we
launched, The King’s Friend, which is online network
research to see opportunities to advance the work
through the papers program. And already more than 220
scholars joined that network. About a third of those
were in the United States but they’re worldwide and they
come from department of history, of literature, of art, of
music, and lots of curators and archivists as well. And then we’re going to
be keeping them involved with the project
as it goes forward, having to give them advance
opportunities to look at materials before
it goes public so they can contribute the
interpretations for us. It’s a new approach to try to
bind people to approach you like this, one which we
are really excited about, which we hope will
feed into things like the exhibitions we’ve been
hearing about as we go forward. And of course the digital lets
you do is potentially make relations with other archives
and put documents together which you wouldn’t always
be able to do physically. And we hope to try and do some
of that with making connections to other archives
online, particularly those that are endangered, say those
in Jamaica or other places where we might be able to make
connections with them and try and do something together. Another [inaudible] see
transcription going forward with students, scholars, and wide [inaudible] public
taking part in the act to practice transcription and in
the interpretation of documents. And already both
William and Mary and King’s both postgraduate and undergraduate students have
the opportunity to get involved in this project at first hand. My own students at
King’s selected each of the document at random. They would give them a free
choice to go to the archive and find some things
that’s both to them and then they were
given 10 weeks to produce an online digital
edition of that document. And they came from all
kinds of disciplines. So one of favorites
was a math student who never had done any
history before and they went into George’s exercise books
as a young man and say, what math is he doing? Where is he getting
that math from? And they identified
the textbooks he used. Why he was doing this math,
is all about ballistics so he could picture, you know, the cannonballs landed
in the right place. But no, it’s a fantastic thing
for her to do to take ownership of this, her own project
and we’ll feed that back into the archive project
because we didn’t know this. That student founded that and that would be her
contribution to the project. So that’s a great thing I think,
putting research into the heart of student’s education. We’re next taking it schools. I’m talking to the British
Historical Association building a collection of documents will
be used in school when teaching for [inaudible] school children
due the [inaudible] using Georgian Papers to
illuminate the curriculum. Not just about George III
but about literacy and things as part of the school
curriculum. So, all of those things
speak to what I found is that digital was doing
the last 20 years. It’s an extraordinary
moment for us that we can take our
serious scholarly work without compromising
it in terms of rigor or scholarship find
point connection with the wider historical
public and work together to try and improve and enhance
our interpretation. It’s a wonderful
thing to be able to do and the Georgian Papers
project offers a possibility of doing this with a
new set of documents on a different scale
and internationally. And that’s just fantastic
I think for me. That said, the work
professional scholars will be at the core what
we’re going to do as you would like
to hear, folks. And period we’re dealing
with obviously is a complex and extraordinary one
exhibiting both parallels with their own time
and you can think of the globalization
shifting political tectonics that leave people wrong-footed
at every moment to what to do next or how to act,
the impact in new media like a very striking parallel
between the politics there and now and rapidly evolving
social economic challenges. There’s also striking contrast,
we see the origins of many of our contemporary
institutions and practices and with very different
circumstances in which they now operate. And to make sense, that’s
going to require a lot of skill and patience and research as
well as a lot of foreknowledge so we will need professional
historians. So it’s pleasure to be able to
hand over to three such scholars who all got patience
and foreknowledge and they will continue our
discussion by explaining some of the themes that’s researched in the papers is
already highlighting. Thank you very much. Applause>>Dr. Colleen J.
Shogan: Thank you, Arthur. That was terrific. Now I’d like to introduce
our second speaker. Jim Ambuske is the former
post-doctoral fellow in Digital Humanities at
the University of Virginia, School of Law Library. A historian of the
American Revolution and the Early Republic, Jim recently completed
his PhD at UVA. In addition to his work
on the Georgian era, he co-directs the Scottish Court of Session Digital
Archive project in the 1828 catalog project
at the UVA Law Library. The later being an initiative
to reconstruct the law– the legal library that
Thomas Jefferson created for the University of Virginia. Please join me in welcoming
Jim to the Library of Congress. [ Applause ]>>Jim Ambuske: Good
afternoon, everyone. I just want to begin by thanking
Karin and Shaun and Colleen and Travis for inviting
me here today. It’s nice to see some
of my fellow fellows from the Georgian
Papers project. Two years ago I had
the good fortune of being the first
Omohundro fellow to be in the Georgian archive. I beat my fellow over
there by about a month. So now I’m giving a talk
in the Library of Congress. I’m not sure it’s going
to get any better so I’d like to announce my
retirement at the conclusion of today’s program [laughter]. I wanted– I’d like to tell
you about my time in Windsor and a bit about my
research there by telling you a
story about two men. Admiral Sir Samuel Hood
and General Jacob De Bude. These are common household
names in the history of the American Revolution
although it’s entirely possible and you probably have
heard of Lord Hood. But they shared a correspondence
during a critical period of the American warfare
independence. Letters that I found locked away in the royal archives
of Windsor Castle. By necessity, then this story
begins not of the 18th century but on the 21st on a
cool September morning, two years ago in
the round tower. I applied for my Georgian
Papers fellowship hoping to find material for
my dissertation project which was a study of Scottish
immigration to North America in the era of the
American Revolution. And I found that other
evidence in some archives that George III was aware what
some amongst the Scottish elite described as a depopulation
crisis in Scotland. In other words they believed
that a combination of factors that push Scots out of
Scotland and pull them to the colonies here would
deprive Britain of laborers and soldiers at a critical
moment in the imperial crisis. And so as I waited
through boxes of material on the royal archives,
seeking answer to my questions, I ask to see the papers
of General Jacob de Bude, the man so honored here
by this inscription within Saint George’s
chapel located just down the hill from
the round tower. Born in Geneva in the early
18th century, as a younger man, de Bude acted as a military page for George III’s great uncle
William, Prince of Orange. He later served in
a Swiss regimen. In 1772, de Bude joined
the British royal household to oversee the education of the princes William
Henry and Edward. George III made him a
general in the Hanoverian army and apparently became
the king’s aide-de-camp. He later served as Prince
Frederick’s secretary and it was Frederick who
placed memorial to de Bude in St. George’s Chapel, a testimony to that man’s long
service to the royal family. And so on that September
morning, in 2015, I received a red archival box
similar to what Arthur showed in the video there containing de
Bude’s papers hoping upon hope that they pour something
directly on my dissertation topic
hoping that I find a letter from the king where he’s
talking to de Bude in confidence about this potential crisis. And I didn’t find
anything, but that’s OK. And part of the process of
this program is to figure out what is there and
what is not there. And as I’d like to say,
what I found is better in more instances that one,
and so in that box sandwiched between account books and
a collection of recipes. So if you need anything for
the holidays, let me know. I found a catch of letters
wrapped in brown paper and bound together
by a piece of string. Opening that package
I discovered about 140 letters plus
enclosures written to de Bude from Admiral Hood. Here was a collection unknown
to scholars, dating between 1781 and 1783, written by one of
Britain’s senior naval officers to one of George III’s
trusted men in the last years of the revolutionary war. I wonder what it could mean
that these letters existed in this collection within
this particular archive and what they might tell
us about the relationship between these two men, about
the American Revolution and about George III. To begin to answer
those questions, we need to know something about de Bude’s correspondent,
Admiral Hood. A season naval veteran,
Hood first went to see with the royal navy
in the 1740s. Served in a seven years war, what we commonly called
the French-Indian war in North America,
stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the years
before the American Revolution, served as a commissioner
of the naval yards at Portsmouth, England. Before becoming a flag
officer in the British fleet in the early 1780s, confident
in his own abilities, often to the point of arrogance,
Hood all too easily found fault in the conduct of his fellow
officers, even his superiors. He was not afraid to express
his opinions to his friends and to his civilian superiors
and the luminous correspondents. But it was never without a
point and that’s important, Hood wanted his correspondents
to understand where the officers had gone
wrong, wanted to expose flaws in British military strategy
and wanted to offer a sense of the potential consequences
of certain military choices. Now of course, you know,
Hood, he’s not writing this without an eye towards his own
conduct, his own reputation. He wants his correspondents
to hold him in high regard. But he generally believed
in the righteousness of the British cause in suppressing the
American rebellion. He was content on doing his duty
to king, country, and empire. And he was also a
politically astute man. He was well versed
in 18th century ideas of duty, honor, and propriety. While he was on friendly
terms with the king, Hood dared not flout
the chain of command and send his grievances
directly to George III. And so with that in mind, I
want to emphasize the importance of to whom Hood is writing. True, some of what Hood wrote to de Bude mirrored what
he communicated to others. But the fact that he provided
de Bude one of the king’s men with detailed accounts
of the war effort and the people involved
raises [inaudible] prospect that Hood saw these letters
as way to back-channel to George III himself. Hood’s correspondence with
de Bude written in the wake of a catastrophic British defeat
in the late summer of 1781, offers an excellent
example of the kind of information he might have
conveyed to this exchange. They help illuminate a fatal
moment and the people involved in Britain’s efforts to
subdue the rebellion. And so most of us are aware
I think with the Battle of Yorktown of October 1781, the victory by the combined
Franco-American army that traps Cornwallis southern
Army on New York peninsula and leads to peace
negotiation with the Americans. Certainly if you’re familiar
with the Hamilton’s soundtrack, you know this by heart
by now [laughter]. Far fewer know much about
the Battle of the Chesapeake, just one month before on
September the 5th, 1781. This was the decisive
naval engagement of the American Revolution, especially with respect
securing American independence. It is difficult to imagine
Cornwallis’ surrender without it. The clash of the Virginia coast
was a reflection of Britain’s– the British military
and southern strategy in this period of a war. After John Burgoyne’s
surrender at Saratoga in 1777 and France’s formal entry into
the war the following year, the British military
concentrated its efforts in the southern colonies,
partly in the belief and not without good reason that they
would find greater numbers of loyal Americans in the south. In for a time, the
British found success. They actually re-conquered
Georgia in the fall of 1779. That colony is declared at
the king’s peace, all right? So that’s one check mark. In May 1780, they captured
Charles Town, South Carolina, all right, captured one of the southern coast’s
most important ports. And after Charles Town
falls into British hands, Lord Cornwallis takes
command of the southern army, spends the better part of the
next year and a half working to pacify South Carolina where
a very violent civil war breaks out between patriot and
loyalist, moving north into North Carolina and
finally into Virginia. And in Virginia, he has orders
from General Sir Henry Clinton to establish a fortified
position near a port to which the British
could send supplies. And all the while,
American continental and militia forces are
harassing him and his men. By the summer of 1781,
George Washington and de Rochambeau
sense an opportunity. Stationed up the Hudson River
near White Plains, New York, the two generals debated
whether to launch a strike against the British
headquarters in New York City, a city that the British
[inaudible] of the war or to begin an offensive
in Virginia to capture or destroy Cornwallis’
southern army. And ultimately they
choose Virginia largely because Rochambeau convinces
Washington who really wants to just go in there and get
the crap out of the British in New York that Virginia
is the better option. But with the British Navy
patrolling American waters, Washington and Rochambeau
needed the assistance of the French fleet to
accomplish their objectives. One small French naval force lay
off Rhode Island while another under the command of Admiral
de Grasse was soon expected on the West Indies. If you’d like to know more
about the American Revolution in the Caribbean,
I encourage you to read Andrew O’Shaughnessy’s
book “An Empire Divided”. It’s terrific. Go pick up your copy today. And once that fleet arrives,
Rochambeau sends a message to de Grasse asking him
to bring his fleet north to assist the allied armies
marching toward Virginia. The British had a fleet in
the West Indies as well, one that included Hood
abort his flagship. And the British rightly
suspected that their enemies were
preparing a joint operation either against General
Clinton’s forces in New York or against Lord Cornwallis
in Virginia. The senior British
admiral ordered Hood to take a detachment of 14 ships
of the lines to the battleships to track de Grasse after the
French commander began the voyage north. Because Hood took a more direct
route to the American mainland, he actually passes
de Grasse and arrives in Chesapeake Bay
on August 25, 1781. Finding no French ships in
the bay, Hood sailed north to New York City to
consult with Admiral Graves who had the overall command
with the British fleet in North America at this time. And when Hood, Graves, and other
officers observed the sailing of the French fleet at Rhode
Island, they correctly suspected that Virginia was the target. Mobilizing a combined fleet
of 19 ships of the line, the British sailed south
to prevent the French from isolating Cornwallis’ army. And here you have a map from
the Library of Congress, depicting this battle. And the British fleet is– are the darker of
the two colors there. On September the 5th, 1781,
Hood, Graves, and the rest of the British fleet encountered
de Grasse and his force of 24 ships of the line near
the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Outnumbered, outgunned,
outmanned, the British nevertheless
put up a decent fight for a few hours before
being forced to withdraw. De Grasse’s victory
left the French in command of Virginia waters. Tracking Cornwallis on land
has the Franco-American army drew near. Despite the magnitude
of this defeat, Admiral Hood was
not lost for words. He sent letters to correspondents
including Jacob de Bude, describing the battle in what he
thought it meant for the faith of Britain’s American empire. He composed a long letter to de
Bude 11 days after the battle, in which he noted, “On
the 5th instant, at 11 am, we plainly discovered 24 sail
of French ships of the line and two frigates at
anchor about Lynnhaven Bay, which afforded the British
fleet a most glorious opening for making a close
attack to advantage but it was not embraced. But with this letter,
Hood also included a copy of his thoughts composed on
the morning after the battle. Although uncharacteristically
short nevertheless, Hood was characteristically
blunt in his assessment of the battle. And this is the message
he wants to convey to his correspondents
including de Bude. “Yesterday the British
fleet had a rich and most delightful harvest
of glory, presented to it, but admitted to gather it
in more instances than one.” And here we see a fine example
of Hood noting the failure of a superior officer’s judgment
in superiority of his own. Hood argued that Admiral
Graves who commanded the center of the British line
failed to press the attack. He believed that if Graves
had exploited weak points in the French line, it
might have been able Hood to cut the French
center to pieces. But as Hood sought, Graves
failed to act decisively. In this another letters,
Hood made claim to de Bude that defeat on the
5th of September along with the later decision not to
mount another rescue effort, portended doom for Lord
Cornwallis, his army, and the British war effort. I found in this particular
collection, he writes letters on the 24th of September where
he describes the council of war and Hood is desperately arguing that the British should send
fire ships in to French lines. Basically they would set their
own vessels on fire and ram them into the French fleet as
a means to punch a hole to rescue Cornwallis, and he
can’t convince them to do it and he is just beside himself. He’s really quite passionate about what he thinks is
the right thing to do. In the intimate nature
of this correspondence between these two important
figures in the British military and in the royal household
and the implication that it may represent a
means to convey information to George III, compels
us to ask new questions about various aspects of
the American Revolution. You know, in this town we like to ask what did
the president know and when did he know it. And we can modify that
question to ask with, well, what did the king know
and when did he know it? And so I want to leave you with
the idea that the significance of the Hood-de Bude letters
is that they are suggestive of a broader and formal
intelligence network that George III used to gather
information about the progress of the American war,
developments in Europe, and matters at home. George III took his duties
as sovereign seriously as Arthur suggested, making
it a point to know as much, if not more about policy,
politics, and military strategy as the ministers who ran his
government and his empire. And for a king who gave his
last full measure of devotion to the preservation of that
empire and whose ministers had to drag him to the conclusion that Britain could not win
this imperial civil war, letters such as these along with other evidence can give
us a new window not only into naval history,
military history, but also into the king’s mind. The letters between the admiral and the aide-de-camp tell us
much about the relationship between Hood and de
Bude and Hood’s service on the oceanic front lines
of the American rebellion, yet they raised exciting
new questions about George III’s
American Revolution. And now through the Georgian
Papers project and generosity of many, many people here and
not, we are getting access to the– that archive
that will help us to answer those questions. Thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>Dr. Colleen J.
Shogan: Thank you, Jim. Our next speaker is Andrew
Jackson O’Shaughnessy, who is the vice president
of Monticello, the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith
International Center for Jefferson Studies
and Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is a dual citizen of
Britain and the United States. His most recent book,
“The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American
Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire” received eight
national books awards including the New York Historical Society
American History Book Prize, the George Washington Book
Prize, and the Society for Military History Book Prize. A fellow of the World Historical
Society, he is an editor of– for the Journal of
American History. Andrew, we welcome you
to the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. [ Applause ]>>Andrew O’Shaughnessy:
I’d like to begin by thanking the Library of
Congress especially Colleen and her colleague Travis Hensley
who’ve been primarily involved in coordinating this. I also want to thank the Sons
of the American Revolution. And I put a slide there of my
giving lecture sponsored by them for two months at King’s
College London University. They paid for me
essentially for two months to be a visiting professor
at King’s in association with King’s College Joe Dooley, a former director general
who’s sitting in the third row. And he’s really led
that organization in a remarkable direction to
do many more academic programs to have regular academic
conferences and make it more than simply a social
organization. And also, I would like
to thank King’s College and especially Arthur Burns
who hosted me very warmly, that the faculty do make
visitors really feel part of the college while they’re
there even though one’s spending most of your time at Windsor. Now my objective now is going
to be to show you the importance of this archive for
American history and specifically the
American Revolution. And this is why I applaud
the Library of Congress and the Kluge Center
for its involvement and because this is important
albeit for the British side of the American Revolution. But the British side
is very essential part of understanding the American
Revolution more generally. George III was in some ways
the last king of England to rule in any real sense. It might be said by pedants
that there are important moments where monarchs did
intervene like William IV with the reformat– and even
most recently the Queen in 1963, she appointed a prime
minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home who was virtually unknown
at the time in a situation of the gridlock in parliament. But George III letters
has always been debated as to whether it
was a constitutional or unconstitutional monarch. George III did have real power. And he was able to choose
members of the cabinet and he was able to choose
the prime minister as long as he chose a prime minister who generally had
support in parliament. But that gave him
a lot of leeway. George III was not responsible
for the policies that led to the American Revolution
even though he’s blamed as such by the declaration
of independence. And John Adams in retirement
complained to Thomas Jefferson that he shouldn’t have
called George III a tyrant. But George III does become
the leading war hawk. And this is one of the reasons
that these are the key papers, the papers of George
III for high politics and the military during
the American Revolution from the British side. Unfortunately, the papers of Lord North are very
disappointing and very limited. The only papers that really
compete would be those of the colonial office
in the national archives. George III essentially
became obsessed with this– with the issue of America
after the Boston Tea Party. That was the moment that he
decided that war was inevitable and he became, in the words
even of his own admirers, almost his own prime minister. He dominated Lord North who was
constantly trying to resign, who lost faith in the
conflict very early on. He refused to negotiate
with opposition leaders who were committed to withdraw
from America as early as 1778. And he was almost
Churchillian in the words of Herbert Butterfield
who was a historian at Cambridge during
the Second World War and wrote this shortly
afterwards that he reminded of Churchill when
he read phrases like “If any 10 men will stand
beside me, I intend to go on.” George III was so obsessed that he actually threatened
his abdication during the war before– long before he wrote
the actual abdication letter. And when he heard about the
news of Yorktown, he sent– well, up today, we would
think of almost like an email because George III,
whenever he was writing, would put the exact
time of the day almost to the last second on the note. But in this particular message,
which was sent to the secretary of state for America in his
house in Pall Mall in London, he failed even to put
the date which shows that there was a certain anxiety because he just heard
about Yorktown. And he wrote to Germain who
was dining with nine guests. And the nine guests were unaware
in fact to the news of Yorktown but they knew something major is
happening when the message came from the king late at night
during a dinner party. And one of the guests happened
to say that they’d heard that the French foreign
minister died and how sad because the minister would
never know what the outcome of the American Revolution was. And Germain– Lord Germain
said he did know the outcome of the American Revolution. And most of the party
at that point felt that they were referring to the
Battle of the Chesapeake Capes, because most people
still expected Cornwallis to be victorious. They’re even calling
him an English Hannibal in the British newspapers. And then Germain passed
around the message which said he’d heard that
Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown but we
intend to go on. This is a minor setback
like Saratoga but most of the army is still
in place in New York. We still have cities throughout
the eastern seaboard including Savannah or in Charleston. We still got Canada
and we will fight on. And indeed, one of the reasons that North eventually
resigned was because he couldn’t really
persuade the king for him to be able to give an
unequivocal commitment that Britain would
withdraw from America. And opposition leaders
came in to replace him. George III during the American
Revolution made his main palace outside of London Windsor
Castle, where the archives are. And that is the round tower
where they’re contained. I’ve always started
symbolically quite significant that he would base himself
in a castle during the war because both– his father died
of course before becoming king but his grandfather George II and his great grandfather
George I, both of them [inaudible]
Windsor Castle. In fact, a lot of work had to
be done to make it inhabitable. George III would have military
music played constantly there. He even designed the kind of uniform coat wear
called the Windsor uniform that was introduced
towards the end of the war. And he obsessed about
every detail of the war. And that is very apparent
when you start to go through the correspondence. Now, Arthur alluded
earlier to the fact that correspondence was
published in the ’20s by a man called Sir
John Fortescue, who’s a remarkable librarian
of the royal archives and a remarkable historian who wrote multi-volume
histories of the British army. And although in terms
of their interpretation of attitudes, they’re
very dated. Nevertheless, John Shy, one of the America’s
leading military historians of the American Revolution, he recently reprinted
the section dealing with the American Revolution because he particularly admired
the way Fortescue is very easily and briefly able to
summarize battles and events. But the problem with that
correspondence is firstly it’s incomplete as we
again see in a moment. Secondly, his author alluded
it’s not really reliable. And it was Sir Lewis
Namier who’s regarded as one of Britain’s leading
20th century historians, who went through just the first
year and produce the volume of corrections and amendments
to Fortescue’s series. Incidentally, that
had a credible effect to all documentary
editors afterwards. It sent shivers people
spying that because a lot of these changes were
hardly significant, nevertheless it was a warning
never to entirely rely on this– on the printed edition. Thirdly, actually seeing the
original documents is in itself, does influence your
reading of them. This on the screen is a list
of George III’s own hand of ships of the French Navy. And one of the most
remarkable things to me– and I was actually curious
about George III’s influence on strategy because like the
president of United States, he was commander-in-chief
of the army. But he actually knew by
name most of his officers. He was also the most proficient
monarch in naval affairs since at least William
III, if not the equal of someone like James II. Supposedly, he knew off by
heart the soundings and depths of various harbors
around Europe. And I found lots of
letters and lists where he’d copied
in his own hand. The most remarkable is in fact
the Siege of Boston in 1775 where he’s got information
about ordnance. And what he do is he’d receive
the official papers from one of the secretaries of
state usually germane and then he copy it out. So, what was the
discovery for me was that of course he
had no secretary. This material was
thought of as so private. And he remained without
a secretary until really quite later on
when ill-health forced him to have a secretary. And so, all of this
material is in his own hand. Thanks to his keeping letters
and papers that we have so much of Lord North’s correspondence
because North didn’t keep as much for his own part. I mentioned that a lot of
papers that are admitted by Sir John Fortescue, the most
entertaining are the series of the letters from a spy, and
it might have actually been more than one person, who
signs himself Aristarchus. I was asked by the BBC, was he
a kind of James Bond figure? And I said, I didn’t think so
because he describes himself as being in his late 60s. Although he said he felt like a
younger man, sort of 40 years, his junior, but he was very
much stationary in London but receiving intelligence
reports especially from France. One of them describes a plot that they thought was
an assassination plot. They said the French know that
you often are seen walking alone in your garden without
anyone around you, and so that this was a warning. Another more entertaining
one was that a British agent had
been put up a chimney in which Benjamin Franklin– a room in which Benjamin
Franklin was meeting with the emperor of Austria
to overhear the conversation. But some of it goes beyond. And I always imagine
that Fortescue as a military historian
is mystic because he didn’t think the
intelligence is very good. That was always been my guess. So, I really don’t understand
why would particular letters– there are even letters of Lord
North that are not printed in the correspondence. I’m not sure if it
was just negligence or if he had a specific reason. But there are other
intelligence reports that really are very important. I thought one of the most
important came in a booklet and it’s from 1777,
1781 and it’s a book of naval intelligence by British
spies based near the coast near the port of Brest watching the
movements of the French fleet. And that is pretty critical
because one of the reasons that British got it wrong
in Yorktown is that one of the only times in the war
they had bad naval intelligence. The British planned to have a– what was known as
a [inaudible] navy. And that would be navy that was
strong enough to defeat France and Spain simultaneously. Nearly for all of
the 18th century, the British had naval
superiority. It was the basis
of their empire, their control of the seas. But the battle of the
Chesapeake Capes is one of the only battles
they really lost. And it was a loss
even though much of it was simply drifting apart. But the fact that the
British were not able to defeat the French
Navy and open up the Chesapeake
represented a major defeat. And one of the reasons
was bad intelligence. And he’s very curious
because the two commanders, army commanders would blame
each other after the war. Sir Henry Clinton, the
commander-in-chief in New York, Lord Cornwallis in Yorktown,
they would blame each other and yet both have been misled
and both had preceded on the assumption that Britain
would’ve had the superior navy. Had they done so, it
would’ve been possible to simply ferry Cornwallis out
Yorktown and to get him back to New York or to Charleston. Other papers that are
important and they’re more than just papers of George III, Jim spoke about Sir
Samuel Hood’s papers and those papers are
very interesting too for the royal family
because Sir Samuel Hood for a long while looked
after Prince William. It was part of George III’s
obsession with this war that he sent two of his
own sons into the military, one into the army and the
14-year-old Prince William into the navy where he
essentially was eye witness to some horrendous
moments almost from the moment that
he left England. The father was incredibly
disappointed with him later on because he acquired
such foul language, manners and alcohol habits from
his time in the navy. But Hood oversaw him and
gives us a lot of information. Hood was also in the Caribbean. So, it’s a very important source for naval warfare
in the Caribbean. These materials were
never used by any of Sir Samuel Hood’s
biographies. So they really were unknown and they do represent a
very major new discovery. A third set of papers that
are important are those of Prince William
himself who corresponded with his father throughout. He was the only member of
the British royal family to visit America before
it became independent. And what was most dramatic
to me was his descriptions of British occupied New York. And what was amusing was
his description of arriving and he was greeted by Henry
Clinton who’s commander-in-chief who you think might had other
preoccupations at the time because this was literally
about a month before Yorktown where people are going mad
in New York with the fleet of Sir Samuel Hood
having returned, knocked about by de Grasse. And supposedly they were trying
to refit it and repair it to go and have another attempt
to release Cornwallis. But when Prince William arrived,
he met Sir Henry Clinton and he walked through what
he called the Parade Ground but what we call Bowling Green. And at this moment,
his relationship with his father was
incredibly tense because the father really
was upset by now at the sort of relationships the
son was developing, the fact that he
wasn’t studying. And he said as he walked
through Bowling Green, and I saw the pedestal where once he imagined the
statue stood [laughter]. And it’s difficult not to think that this was a [inaudible]
dad [laughter]. Also, part of the papers, although they are being
digitally copied separately, but an important part of
the papers are the maps and military plans
and engravings in the royal collection. These are very remarkable. I looked at several,
the Bunker Hill, and I initially thought
I recognize these. These are the famous plans of
Bunker Hill that you’ll see them in almost every textbook. And then I realized they showed
different parts of the day of Bunker Hill that these
had not been reproduced. Now, I can tell you
that the Library of Congress actually
did microfilm of these many years ago, but I don’t think many people
would be aware of that. But the Library of Congress is
the most important secondary repository for a lot
of British materials. They copied all of the
colonial office materials many decades ago. So it’s an excellent
place to come and study the American
Revolution. Nevertheless, when
you’re dealing with maps and engravings, you
really do want to see the original not
look at it on microfilm. And finally people
mentioned that there are lots of miscellaneous papers at least
to do with trying to get his– buy out his son from letters that the son had
foolishly written– this was the future George IV– to his mistress and the father
had to pay a lot of money to get these letters back. The woman involved was a very
smart actress and she managed to secure a very
large sum of money. She then went on to be the
partner [inaudible] probably the most hated British
officer in America but it’s often said although
people regard [inaudible] memoirs as a lot of
lies, but they’re some of the best written memoirs
by any British soldier. But that’s because she was
a novelist and a writer and it almost certainly a
ghost written his memoir. All I can say by ending and any
of you might consider applying for this fellowship, is that it’s just the most
wonderful location. These are a few photos that
I just took with my iPhone. The Nell Gwynn coffee house
supposedly there are tunnels from that coffee house which Nell Gwynn used
to see Charles II. There’s a changing
of the guard just like Buckingham Palace everyday. And of course it’s terribly
tempting because I meant to be inside the castle. But there’s always so much
going on outside and, you know, just observing sunset– there’s
an even song there everyday, a beautiful song, even
sung in St. George’s Chapel where Elizabeth I
is also buried. And it’s worth going to just
purely as a good concert and you can also
get free admission to the castle if you go to that. So I’ll just leave you
with those visitors. But I’ll end by saying I think
that is wonderful the Library of Congress is involved. I’ve met with Carla Hayden
at Monticello and again at the British embassy. I know how personally
enthusiastic she is about this program. But what I really liked
and especially when I came for planning session of the
exhibits on the Two Georges that they’re planning is that this clearly is not
a top-down enthusiasm, there’s real enthusiasm among
the staff of this relationship. And in the museum
and library world, these kinds of collaborations
are becoming more and more important. So, thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>Dr. Colleen J. Shogan: Last
but certainly not the least. It’s my distinct honor
to introduce Karin Wulf. Karin is a historian
of early America and the early modern Atlantic
world focused on gender, family, and the state. She is director of the
Omohundro Institute of Early American History
and Culture and a professor of History at the College
of William and Mary where she directs
graduate student research in early American
and gender history. She is a founder and
co-chair of the William and Mary’s Neurodiversity
Initiative and a co-founder of Women Also Know History,
a media and curriculum tool for supporting and advancing
the work of women historians. And most importantly,
she is the academic lead for the Georgian Papers
Programme in the United States and is proven to be a terrific
colleague and collaborator for the Library of Congress
and our GPP partnership. Karin, we look forward
to your presentation. [ Applause ]>>Karin Wulf: Well first, I
want to thank our colleagues and host here, of course first
of all Colleen but also John and Travis and others for
joining us in the work of the Georgian Papers
Programme and in helping us to bring attention to its
work and its potential. I also want to thank some absent
friends, colleagues especially at the royal archives whom
you saw in some of the images that Arthur shared and who
are scanning, cataloging, and posting the materials on the
Royal Collection Trust website and aiding of course all
of the scholars now working in the materials both the
physical archive at Windsor and the digital archive that
we’re producing collaboratively. So the documentary from which
Arthur shared some clips, Robert Hardman’s
“Genius of the Mad King”, was on BBC last January
as a way of introducing to the British public, the
Georgian Papers Programme. And actually all four of us
appeared in the documentary. Jim used to actually saw
Arthur among that collaboration of scholars there in the
first clutch, you know, getting to touch the
materials and so on. And he and Jim and Andrew
are each interviewed in the documentary
about their research and about the wonderful
findings. From my rather ignominious part
in the documentary, I was filmed at an event almost two and a
half years ago now, on April 1st of 2015 about two dozen of us
gathered in the royal library at Windsor where Her Majesty the
Queen formally inaugurated the project and we were
all introduced. And it was quite
wonderful of course. She’s kind of extraordinary. And I was babbling
a bit with her about the excitement
of the archives. So, that’s the piece
that made it into the documentary [laughter]. Now I’ve been reliably
informed that many people start to babble a bit when
in the presence. But honestly, my enthusiastic
fulminating wasn’t entirely about speaking with the queen. Anyone who’s enthusiastic,
whatever you’re enthused about, whether you’re into cars
or knitting or fine wine or barbecue or founding father
saltshakers is actually a thing will know that a fantastic
example of the object of your enthusiasm will
make you completely gaiety. So yes, the archives themselves
are absolutely fabulous. King George III wasn’t
employing a secretary at an arguably enormously
important period in the history of
our two countries. So to handle those
materials, to see the shade and feel the weight
of the paper, to look at where he lifted the
quill or maybe press too hard to make a point, a point
that were directly on the war that created our country, well, the physical object itself
is beyond compelling. But even that isn’t what made
me quite so kind of nutty in that film clip that
I’m purposely not sharing with you [laughter]. What compels us still
as we explore and shape this project going
forward is really the potential of the project. Refresh historical understanding that is really what makes
this project so exciting. I don’t think there’s anyone
here that I have to persuade about the importance of history. I’m going to just go
with assuming that. But history is the context
in which we make decision, everyday consequential and
minute, domestic and national. And these archives give
us an opportunity to think with fresh evidence about the
history that shapes the world that we live in right now. In part it’s the fresh material
like the Aristarchus material that Andrew just discussed,
the de Bude correspondence that Jim’s analyzed, but
it’s also a chance to think about how we can see
things in a fresh light, make new connections or
create an entirely new frame of reference or subjective
analysis. We can use it to see people
and subjects that may have been or may have seemed to be
marginal to its interest that is the interest
of the court but in fact incredibly
important, especially in an American
and Atlantic context. And the Omohundro
Institute’s chief investment in this project is
entirely along these lines. To take the opportunity of this
incredible archive that bear so importantly on our
country’s early history, to illuminate fresh
histories of early America and the Atlantic world. Just one of these potential
topics is the nature of 18th century women’s
intellectual exchange. In the 18th century, a
robust intellectual exchange across the Atlantic,
sometimes called the Republic of Letters included
philosophers, scientists, and statesmen from England and
the continent, and Americans such as most famously
probably Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Now this developing web of intellectual connection
was fueled by an exchange of writing, mostly letters
and other manuscript material but also printed books,
treatises, pamphlets. Jefferson and Franklin produced
and received roughly 10,000 and 15,000 letters respectively in their lifetimes giving
you some idea of the volume of this Republic of Letters
and anybody who’s tried to get their email inbox down
to zero can appreciate the size of this endeavor. Scholars have mapped
the Republic of Letters in putting data on
authors and recipients to produce data visualization. There’s actually
terrific project out at Stanford University
called Mapping the Republic of Letters. For America, the primary
observation of mapping that republic is
that the Republic of Letters looks very focused
on England and particularly on London networks that
is for the Americans who are participating. And of course the most
elaborate work has been done on the primarily male
participants in these networks. But women’s literally and intellectual networks
were also flourishing in the 18th century. And they may not yield to
the kinds of data points and mapping approach but the
voluminous correspondents of men like Jefferson and
Franklin might, but rather take some teasing
out of themes and influences. Now scholars have studied
closely what’s known as the bluestocking circle
of women writers in England. And other scholars have also
studied early American groups of women, particularly in
the urban hubs of Boston, Philadelphia, and New
York who are writing and reading one another’s work. How might these groups
have intersected and what can the
Georgian Papers illuminate in fresh possibilities
about these women writers? So, I want to invite to take
three quick steps with me through women’s transatlantic
connection centering on intellectual and
literally concerns. The first concerns, two of the
most prominent women of England and America, respectively,
Catharine Macaulay and Mercy Otis Warren, whose connection offers us
just a quick place to begin. Macaulay was one of the most
prominent public women in an era in which very few women were
either and certainly not as intellectual as we’ve
heard already a lot about princesses and mistresses. She was known colloquially
as the female historian. Macaulay wrote a history
of 17th century England, the history of England from
the ascension of James I to the revolution
in eighth volumes with the first volume
published in 1763 and the last 20 years
later in 1783. This was a political history
that is a history of politics and governance but also a quite
politically charged history. It [inaudible] for mostly Whigs
and was seen as a kind small “r” republican work
and anti-royalist, though not necessary
straightforwardly so. She was incredibly
critical of Oliver Cromwell. For example, she called
him a glorious usurper. She’s a great writer. I hear applause out there for being glorious
usurper, OK [laughs]. Macaulay’s history was praised
by major figures of the day in England even by
William Pitt for examples in the House of Commons. Mercy Otis Warren’s
life was marked by the revolutionary
era in which she lived. Born of a mayflower family
mother and a lawyer father, mercy and her siblings
were raised and educated to an extraordinary
high standard. One of her brothers, James Otis,
for example, authored key text to the American Revolution such
as the famous pamphlet “Rights of the British Colonies
Asserted and Proved”. He famously articulated the
principle of no taxation without representation
in regards to the scheme to collect taxes on American
consumption of British goods. Mercy wrote in a variety
of genres including one of the more significant
publications of the late 1780s, advocating for the
inclusion of a bill of rights in the new US constitution. And in 1805, she published the
product of decades of writing about the unfolding events of the revolution
and its aftermath. Thomas Jefferson wrote that her
rise, progress, and termination of the American Revolution,
was “a truthful and insightful account
of the last 30 years that will furnish a more
instructive lesson to mankind than any earlier
period in history.” Because of Warren’s
increasingly anti-federalist and Jeffersonian
leanings however, John Adams who had been a long
time dear friend denounced the work. These two extraordinary women,
these two historians, Macaulay and Warren, maintained a long
and intense correspondence across two crucial decades. They began to correspond in
1773 and Warren’s last letter to Macaulay was in May of 1791,
the year that Macaulay died. In an early exchange
about whether women could and should express
political opinions, obviously they were preaching
to one another there, Mercy Warren wrote to her famous
friend, “I disregard the opinion that women make but in
different politicians. When the observations are
just and do honor to the heart and character, I think it very
immaterial whether they flow from a female lip or are
thundered in the Senate in the bolder language
of the other sex.” Macaulay and Warren’s
friendship was tested as they like many other figures in this
period who are deeply involved and invested disagreed,
sometimes mildly and sometimes sharply,
sometimes privately and sometimes actually
quite publicly. But their mutual
admiration never waned. Macaulay visited
America for over a year, beginning in the summer of 1784. And she spent time
in Boston with Warren and she actually spent
time at Mount Vernon too, visiting George and
Martha Washington. Now that we’ve established
something of the extent of women’s transatlantic
connections, courtesy of Warren and Macaulay, let us turn to one
that brings us into the courts and the Georgian Papers. This example concerns one of the 18th century’s
most celebrated novelists, Frances Burney known as Fanny. Burney was a prodigious diarist. In fact just this year, the Guardian described
her edited diaries as one of the 100 most important
nonfiction works of all time. She’s a great diarist
and great writer. She published her first novel in
1778 and her second, “Cecilia”, to great acclaim in 1782. The enthusiastic reception for
“Cecilia” included attention from the royal family. The queen urged her
daughters to read it for amusement and for education. And in 1785, Queen
Charlotte asked Burney to accept the position at court,
which the novelist accepted. She was one of the queen’s
ladies for five years, difficult ones that included
King George III’s first intense period of mental illness. We’ve heard quite a bit about
the king’s qualities as a sort of intellectual magpie you might
have gathered he was interested in all kinds of different
things from agriculture to astronomy to statecraft. And Charlotte too had a lively
curiosity for botany, for music, and language but especially
for history and literature. She was keen to have
bluestockings around her. Burney wasn’t the only one. And they remained close. Burney remained close
to the princesses too after she left royal service. Burney’s reputation flourished
internationally and in America. The London edition of “Cecilia”
was advertised as early as 1784 in America and was printed in
an American edition in 1793. Now these novels are
sometimes described as precursor to Jane Austin. They’re witty, they’re
country house settings. In these books, the
women are always readers. And in fact Austin’s– the title of probably Austin’s most
significant novel comes from a line in “Cecilia” where
a character notes that the whole of this unfortunate
business has been the result of pride and prejudice. Burney’ reputation
among American educators in particular only grew. As the 19th century
dawned, there was a rush of new academies founded for the
education of privileged girls in America and an embrace
of the value of education for free girls of elite families as a benefit to the
new republic. Among the great writers and
advocates was another Bostonian, Judith Sargent Murray. She was an early advocate
for equality of the sexes, publishing an essay by that
name in 1790, well in advance of Mary Wollstonecraft in fact. And she gathered her many
essays together in 1798. Just as Americans were
beginning to think about creating a new national
literature and she published in three volumes “The Gleaner”, which incorporated
her political views and especially her interest
in women’s education. And she’d go on to
found a women’s– a girl school herself
with two friends in 1802. And in “The Gleaner” which
Murray is publishing in 1798, she advocated for the value of Burney’s novels,
especially “Cecilia”. In a period when novels were
often dismissed as frivolous or not reflective of the
virtues of the new nation, there’s actually a very snarky
John Quincy Adams quote about “Cecilia” specifically. But Murray and others made
clear that in their reflections on character and circumstances, novels could be essential
reading and learning. And here of course she’s
echoing Queen Charlotte who if you remember
advocated Burney’s books for her daughters
for the same reasons. And now let’s bring
this quickly together. The transatlantic connections
among women intellectuals, they were reading one another’s
work, writing about one another and even directly communicating,
in fact across political– what we might think of
as political device. My third example here
concerns the place of history in geography in women’s
education in the late 18th and early 19th century. In those early female academies, like the one Judith
Sargent Murray helped found, the curriculum included novels
in place of course in poetry but it also emphasize
the importance of history and geography essential
to the education of women as Denisons [phonetic]
of this new nation. And here you’ll see on
the right there an example from a Quaker school right
outside of Philadelphia where teachers created their
own textbooks of poetry and also had their students
create their own globes. This stitched globe is actually
it’s got hardcore interior and batting around it and
there are number of examples from this particular school, the Westtown School,
as well as others. And then the longitude
is stitched. It’s really faded there but
it’s a really beautiful object. It’s [inaudible]
center right now at the Boston Public Library. This stitched globe
helped these young women as they had male
students for centuries, not only with basic
geographical orientation but with geometry and astronomy. And back inside Windsor
Castle, Queen Charlotte, her six daughters, the
princesses and their governesses and ladies in waiting like Frances Burney were
creating curricula of their own. The Queen established at
Frogmore House a private retreat on the grounds at Windsor,
a printing press of her own. And there, among
many others projects, they created boxed
sets of historical and geographical information. Here you see, on
the top left there, an example of a manuscript
version, which on that kind of upper left there in the center what you
see is a whole bunch of those manuscript
cards stacked together with their own really
beautiful box next to it. So, even the manuscript rough
draft copy gets a beautiful leather box. Anyway, and then you also
see the printed cards there. So you can see how they
were printed at Frogmore, on the press at Frogmore. Printed cards and boxes
about Spain, Germany, France, Portugal, and Rome, or United
States of America you’d say. So how might these have
reflected the work of some of the important historian
of the day like Macaulay? The queen herself was also
writing historical accounts that reflected her
veracious reading. She may have been like her
husband and many others of their era copying
work she read or combining her own thoughts
and words with those of others. And I’ve been reading in
her historical accounts. She began to keep careful track
for example of the history and lineage of Sophia,
Electress of Hanover. There are two copies in
the queen’s handwriting of the lineage of Sophia. Why would she be
writing multiple times about Sophia the
Electress of Hanover? Well, those of you
who know your 17th and 18th century English
history will know exactly why. Because this was– She was
the granddaughter of James I and this was the lineage that
would shift the British monarchy from the Stewarts to the
Hanovers with George I and would bring Charlotte
to England as the consort of George III. She wrote out this
history of Sophia, Electress of Hanover
multiple times. How meaningful that was
and yet how contested in the many histories
of the 17th century and earlier that she had read. How consequential in
the 18th centuries through to what she was living. These are just a few of
the extraordinary stories and connections that we can
pull out of the Georgian Papers. And I want to suggest
that if you want to explore the Georgian
Papers yourself, the items are being digitized and then released
online in trenches. There are about 50,000
items already on the website and they’re being released
and rolling about 25 to 30,000 items at a time. And you can begin by looking
at our three project websites. To read more about the
blog post and information about the GPPU can consult the
Omohundro Institute and William and Mary site which is We’ll post all these
staff for you. And the King’s site which
is georgianpapersprogramme, with an extra M-E dot com. These are mirror sites and
they express our mutual and ongoing scholarly work. The papers themselves
along with some of the academic commentarial
including pieces by all of us are at And if you toggle to
the upper right there, you’ll see the GPP micro site. And that has at least
50,000 items that are already posted some of the materials
we’ve shared with you. But more all the time is this
project continues through 2020. Thank you so much
for your time today. [Applause]>>Dr. Colleen J. Shogan: OK. So now we’re going to ask all
of our presenters to come back up on stage and it’s
time for you, you’ve been very
patient audience, if you have questions for them. We have about 20 or 25 minutes. And we also have microphones
coming around the room. So when I call on you, please wait until the
microphone arrives. Is there anybody
that has questions? Yes, over here. Yeah, just wait for
the microphone, please.>>So, best estimate,
overall, what percentage of papers have been
at least indexed?>>Karin Wulf: It depends on
what you mean by indexing. I mean, there’s a kind of– there’s a rough look
at the whole– the pie chart that Arthur showed
you, you know, is from a kind of rough cut look, but when
you say index, nothing.>>Arthur Burns: Possibly
even less than 15%, in fact.>>Karin Wulf: Yes.>>Arthur Burns:
Is a real indexing.>>Karin Wulf: Yeah.>>Arthur Burns: So you can– What’s on the outside of
the box, we can tell you.>>Karin Wulf: Yeah.>>Arthur Burns:
Beyond that, no.>>Andrew O’Shaughnessy: I
thought I’d been deficient because I kept expecting
it would be somewhere kind of printed manuscript
guide that you have for almost every archive
and it doesn’t exist. And one of the problems reminds
me a little once I mentioned this to Karin, Gary
Hart [assumed spelling] when he was asked to
investigate the CIA and FBI with Barry Goldwater and he
said we didn’t know what we were looking for [laughs]. And that is the difficulty,
always nervous as to whether you’re awfully
aware of exactly what is there or if there are boxes that you
just haven’t been told about. You rely a lot of course
on the on-site librarians to tell you what they have. But I would stop by going to the published
Fortescue correspondence. So at least you can get a sense
of what you might find in there.>>Jim Ambuske: A few weeks
before my arrival I was sent a spreadsheet, an Excel
spreadsheet that essentially had, as Arthur
said, an indication on what was on the label on the box. Some sense of what had
been published before in Fortescue [inaudible]
and that was it. So, there was very little
[inaudible] sub-collections. So one of the cool things about
this submission is that I got to work with Oliver Walton
and the archivist to figure out what was actually in these
things and then we all did.>>Arthur Burns: That’s
the other you can do. You can become a King’s friend. And if you sign up to King’s
friends, we’re very happy for anyone to say I’m looking
for this, what have you got? And we will follow that up. And actually [inaudible] we
don’t know what’s in there, what we might want to find, the more people would tell
us what they’d like to find, the more we can try to find it.>>Karin Wulf: The other
thing I would just say– I know there are other
questions, so sorry– but is that some of
the fellows have gone to the archives looking
for particular topics and the not finding has been
a significant as the finding. There’s a wonderful blog
post on our mutual sites by Professor Cynthia Kierner from George Mason
University who’s been working on a wonderful book about
early American disasters. And she was actually going
in search of information about the royal philanthropy
because– which really takes off
in a big way starting with the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. And she wanted to
know what did they say about their incredible
philanthropic efforts and the answer was
almost nothing. And just the fact that they were so little there tells
you something. Anyway she’s got– I
won’t give it all away but it’s a wonderful blog post
about why finding nothing can be as important and revealing
and tells us actually as much as finding a lot.>>Dr. Colleen J.
Shogan: Other question? Right here.>>All of you have spoken
about collections of objects, things that can be
listed in spreadsheets. But when you make a digital
collection, it seems to me if you look to the future
information technology, which happens to be my
specialty not history, allows you to build graphs
of links into my new elements in different objects,
different documents. And if someone looking
ahead to how such a metadata can be
created to address themes and documenting whatever
historical findings they have by linking many different
places not just in the Georgian Papers
collection but even collections
that are related.>>Arthur Burns: So, it’s a real
challenge and it’s something that was quite a few on the team
have worked [inaudible] basic ways are fully aware of and also
just what an opportunity it is. The peculiar challenges with
this collection is partly is because of the range
of the materials in it. So the expertise you need to produce a metadata is
extraordinarily wide ranging in this case. So again, what we’re
trying to bring people in, it could be part of the
conversation that we’re trying to get it right and there
are lots of examples in UK, I’m sure that are here too,
places where they got it wrong and it’s left with
metadata unusable, at least because there
have changes in their name so [inaudible] all English
politicians always have about four different titles
and the most famous examples with the British parliamentary
archive that failed to realize the same people in the metadata creation,
link them together. So we have a very good team
of digital humanist at King’s and at William and Mary
who are working together on these issues. We hope we’ll be able
to make a start on it, probably to make a
success of it we’ll need to get a funding going
that would build that. But it’s very much
something that’s in my mind and also trying to think how
we provide web architecture and we’ll have other people join
with us to do that throughout and to do it entirely
on our own.>>Karin Wulf: And there’s been
a wonderful initiative here at the Library of Congress
actually to fund questions about interoperability
and making collections.>>Dr. Colleen J. Shogan:
That was our first four away into the project is–
Is Charlotte here? Charlotte? Charlotte Caslick [assumed
spelling] was a digital stewardship resident
that we actually sent to Windsor for several months. She was in residence here
then residence in Windsor and she was working on the issue of metadata inoperability
particularly between the Library of Congress collections
and the GPP collections. OK. Yes, in the back.>>We’re pretty certain
about the nature of George III’s madness but
I was wondering of this sheds in any new light on how it– or its incipient stages may
have affected policy in Britain.>>Andrew O’Shaughnessy: He
had about sickness at the time of [inaudible] in the 1765,
which went on for months. So that was actually the
first intimation of it. But there’s no evidence that
he was sick during the American Revolution itself. It was really on the eve
of the French Revolution that he had the first
sustained belt that was in fact the subject to the movie
“The Madness of King George”. The thinking seems
to be changing. For decades, they thought
that this was porphyria. It’s a mother-son
team of psychiatrists. And I thought that they’ve
made quite a conclusive case because there’s a giveaway
characteristic of porphyria which is a blood disease
caused often by intermarriage, very like hemophilia but it’s
kind of purple-colored urine. And so– And one of the
doctors constantly alluded to urine color and we’ve
got incredible archives of the doctor’s reports. But it seems that
it’s changing again. I’ve actually seen this in
the BBC, an academic article that they’re going back to
thinking that he was bipolar and that would make
a difference. But– And there’s nothing
of the characteristics of the later madness of then
in 1765 and then again 1789.>>Arthur Burns: What you
do find is that an awareness on politicians, the key moments that something going
before it becomes clear. That’s just how extensive the
problems are and the effort to manage the news
around the [inaudible].>>What happened in this second
decade of the 21st century that after all these years
the crown decided or somebody in England decided to
open these archives?>>Arthur Burns: So
I think that a number of different things
come together, one is just the technical
possibilities doing this that other people done it
to the [inaudible] for it. The [inaudible] has begun with smaller projects they
took Queen Victoria’s journal for example and made
those online. And I think we’ve taken it
back that we have interest that were shown in,
in that project and that was behind
the [inaudible], so this was the first way to be to do it would genuinely
open resource with academic collaborators. I think the second feature is
that the royal archives having under pressure to
become more public. There’s been a lot
of interesting things in 20th century, royal
family in their papers. Obviously there’s been
quite tricky issues about personal [inaudible]
people still alive and I think what they wanted to show is their overarching
mission to treat these as public documents
even though they’re in fact private documents which
is part of a national heritage and therefore there’s been– it’s extraordinary
effort I think for those [inaudible]
party was very, very hard unless you were
fully tenured professor with a very particular project
even to get to see what was then because there were no catalogs. You could find out until
you got there what they was. And now it was full of
people, not just with us, there are an awful lot but actually they’ve
read on the reading room. There’s now more opportunities
to go in and use the papers. They’ve increased their opening. So it’s a genuine attempt. I think it’s very rewarding
for the archivist there too that they found they
been able to do their job of interpretation and understanding
far more actually now that there are more changes
towards people [inaudible]. It’s a very well [inaudible].>>Karin Wulf: Given the
restriction there and it is where a monarch lives. So the security restrictions are
pretty intense and, you know, the restriction on
what can be done within that space
are pretty intense. Given all that I think they’ve
been really extraordinary about opening access to
these archival materials. And, you know, if you go
to the website, you know, anybody all over the
world can freely see. And by 2020, you know, anybody
all over the world can see all of the Georgian Papers
collection digitally. Well, anybody with a, you know, connection in the
computer anyway.>>Arthur Burns: And it is all– I think that’s quite
important to emphasize. It’s not the sense
of selection–>>Karin Wulf: Yeah,
it’s everything.>>Arthur Burns:
It’s the archive.>>Dr. Colleen J.
Shogan: Another question. Yes, down in front.>>Those were four
fabulous presentations. I can’t tell you how
they fit together and also stood on their own. [ Applause ] And I care about 18th
century British history. But I want to ask a little
bit about Fanny Burney and how this might help
in teaching working with graduate students in
women’s and gender history. Have you thought about that?>>Karin Wulf: Well,
so, you know, I’m not a Fanny Burney
expert and there are those, many of them actually, so
I don’t want to suggest that somehow I know something
that other scholars don’t. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. This is why I said, well,
we’ll post a bibliography on our websites for
people who are interested. But I think that the
teaching possibilities for the GPP generally
are going to be terrific and the Fanny Burney
material will be great. I’m not sure if is that’s me
squeaking or someone else.>>No.>>Karin Wulf: OK. All right. Good. You could see
I’ve got a little PTSD from that BBC documentary
[laughter]. But the teaching
possibilities are great. I mean, Arthur really
did this amazing project with his undergraduates in
King’s and we’ve been talking about a kind of collaborative
effort at William and Mary and King’s to teach
with the GPP materials to give the students
a kind of, you know, a one-shot one year kind of informal seminar
research experience. But I think all over, the
access to this materials and to link them up– I
mean, this is, you know, linking sometimes in
the old-fashioned way of I thought this and
now I’ve thought of that, but also digitally
linking things is going to make curricular
possibilities, really extraordinary. And, you know, the
obvious, I think, topics here are the
political and military ones. And I just went for the
easiest women’s history one here which is the intellectual women
who are writing and publishing and who are among the
most famous, you know, of 18th century Anglo-American
women. But the women’s history
opportunities in these archives and the opportunities to link
materials in those archives with other archives here in the United States
is really incredible. There are all kinds of things
we can learn about, you know, women’s consumption
patterns, about food, about ideas about the body. And there are just– Anyway, they are just endless
opportunities and those will translate
to teaching.>>Arthur Burns: I
think one thing you have to example is Princess Amelia and her experience
of consumption. Now there’s another
extraordinary medical case history. Lived from the inside by royal
princess has also infatuated one of your queries, so does the
extraordinary romantic story of that new kind of
romantic love being embodied in that situation in
[inaudible], days we’re looking at that, an extraordinary
material that she’s found there. And that was a great story
about how digital works as well, because we broadcast the
documentary on the BBC and there’s a brief
section where Flora Fraser, one of our fellows who is one of our Mount Vernon
professors, talks about this. And the next day, I got a
friendly call from somewhere in the north saying, “I
think I’ve got the other half of the correspondence.” And it was ascendant
to one of the queries that she’s involved with. So we’ve been up there. We haven’t yet found what we
can do that an idea would be to digitize those documents
and bring those in as well. And that’s what you
can do with digital. You can create virtual
archives without having to mess about with physical
archives themselves. And it’s fantastic
we can do that.>>Karin Wulf: Those medical–
The medical history as a kind of theme throughout is really
compelling with George III of course and Amelia
and Fanny Burney has one of the most famous women’s
medical histories of the period where she, you know,
narrated her own mastectomy. She writes about
having done it under– you know, with no anesthesia. It’s a really extraordinary
document in women’s history.>>Yes?>>I’d read recently in
recent years about the– that one of the key
reasons for the loss in 1780 in Cornwallis was that
half of the British troops in America had been diverted to the West Indies
to protect the sugar. And given what you’ve
referred to as– and we’ve seen other places
about the king’s involvement of this, it’s hard to quite
imagine him either suggesting or allowing that diversion. Is there anything that’s
come to light about that?>>Andrew O’Shaughnessy: He
actually supported that policy and said, “We can’t even
fight the American war without our sugar items.” And so in 1778, when the British
had occupied Philadelphia, the new commander-in-chief Henry
Clinton was given orders to give up Philadelphia to
send 5000 troops down to the Caribbean
to take Saint Lucia. And then in the summer of 1779,
the British received warning that Jamaica was
about to be invaded. They put their entire army
in New York onboard ship with Cornwallis and they were
at sea for almost a week. So this really shows
you the priorities. They did lose a large number of their islands
during the revolution. But it seems to have been kind of one compromise they’re
willing to make was to lose Jamaica, So they’re
actually sending more troops to the West Indies in the second of the American Revolution
then to America.>>Dr. Colleen J.
Shogan: Over here?>>Thanks again to all of you
for wonderful presentations. I’m wondering if any
of you has any sense that this project might
stimulate contextualization with parallel archives for example among the royal
houses elsewhere in Europe or perhaps even more
pertinently, papers of British aristocratic
families and households and so on or perhaps such
already exist?>>Arthur Burns: So, we
know already there are one or two other projects that
are beginning to talk to us, some of the kind that you’ve
mentioned is we’ve got an addition of one of the courtier’s papers that’s
proceeding in Manchester. They’re not talking
to us, we’re hoping to align transcription,
launch that. And there are various
tensions raised and [inaudible] we
hope we’ll be able to build links possibly
even fellowships of the kind that we’ve had elsewhere
to bring people in to work with the papers. I think the competitive
monarchs things is a point very well taken. We’re in touch with a scholar
in Leiden, Jeroen Duindam, who wrote a– I think it’s
a book called Dynasty. You may know it, which
is global history of monarchy in any
modern period. He’s just got some
money to do a project on Northern European monarchies. And I’m talking to him about
what we might be able to do at some point for the workshops
to bring those together. And I think that that’s
precisely the kind of thing that we want to see happen. And one of the nice thing about
the project, in some ways, it’s a very unusual project. And we don’t have a
research question. And usually now, when
you set out in Britain, like if you got a
particular question, you say, this is where I’m going to find
the answer and you hope you do and that’s why you give
them the money to do it. Here, probably because we aren’t
funded in a big research project without a single question, we can follow what the
archives suggest to us. And the key to that is making
sure enough people know about what we’re doing
and that’s what links with them the Library
of Congress and others. It’s so important that we can
then make those connections for as wide an audience
as you possibly can. And it’s the fun of it too.>>Jim Ambuske: I think there’s
evidence that it’s beginning to inspire the project. So we were just in
Scotland three weeks ago at our Scottish Records
Conference and met with the archivist at the Duke– of Duke of Argyll at
the Inveraray Castle. And they are beginning
to make public and more accessible not
necessarily to digital means but more accessible, the
papers of the Dukes of Argyll who are the most powerful
family in 18th century Scotland. And so you’re getting
to see, you know, I think some momentum
built up to open up these once very closed
bases to new research.>>Karin Wulf: I’ll just add
one quick thing there which is that through these back
and forth fellowships of having fellows in one archive
and then in the other at Windsor and at the Library of Congress
and hopefully in other back and forth spaces, you commit the
fellows really to helping talk to all of us about what’s
mutually in those things. We can read an academic
monograph and see, oh, you’ve used archival materials
in this place and this place. They must connect
in some logical way. But because the fellows are, you
know, fellows of the project, they actually provide
support back to the project on exactly these
questions of linkages.>>Arthur Burns: One of
the interesting things about our period, I
think, is attentive of what situation the
US is but in the UK, the 18th century is the most
digital of all centuries. More pioneering work is being
done in digital amenities. We have the Old Bailey online
where every criminal case at that Old Bailey
is readable online. We have records of all
the London workhouses. We have records of every
murder that happened in London plotted onto maps. And so all these things
might include your database for every [inaudible]
you bring those together and we’re beginning
to create a kind of unique digital environment
as well, which we can just– there’s a thing called connected
histories now where you can type in John– well, don’t
type in John Smith. But if you found a slightly
more unusual name, type it in, and it will tell you which of
those databases have references to that name. And the possibility of
linking them all up in that way is a very exciting and slightly daunting
prospect as well.>>Dr. Colleen J. Shogan: We
have time for one more question. OK. Well, that brings
us to the end of the formal part
of our proceedings. Once again, I would like to
thank Mrs. Beverly Hamilton for her generous sponsorship. Great public programming like today’s event
is made possible only through the support
of people like you. If you’d like to help
the library offer more of these types of programs, please consider making a
gift at Please join us now for our
reception and a viewing of a selection of
British Political cartoons from the Library of Congress
Collection which were purchased from Windsor Castle
in the 1920s. In great British tradition, we
have tea and scones available. However, our conscientious
library staff tell me that you cannot take your
tea and scones into the room where we have the materials. So please enjoy your
refreshments and also enjoy the terrific
treasures on display. We hope you have a
great afternoon here at the Library of Congress. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at

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