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History's BabelScholarship, Professionalization, and the Historical Enterprise in the United States, 1880 - 1940$
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Robert B. Townsend

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226923925

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226923949.001.0001

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Developing the Tools and Materials of History Research

Developing the Tools and Materials of History Research

(p.36) (p.37) Chapter Two Developing the Tools and Materials of History Research
History's Babel

Robert B. Townsend

University of Chicago Press

After spending nearly twenty-five years in academia, J. Franklin Jameson left his position at the University of Chicago in 1904 to work at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Department of Historical Research. Jameson encouraged the collection and publication of primary source material as well as improved archiving practices which, combined with his shift from academic to non-academic employment, signaled the emergence of other forms of work in the historical enterprise. In 1895 the American Historical Association (AHA) created its first independent committee in the organization, the Historical Manuscripts Commission, to collect information regarding manuscripts relating to American history. Four years later, the Public Archives Commission was born. In 1904, the AHA convened a Conference of Historical Societies. The AHA also played a major role in providing a platform for the early professionalization of archivists. By 1910 a growing number of societies and archival agencies began to gather, curate, and share systematically historical materials for their areas of responsibility.

Keywords:   history, J. Franklin Jameson, primary source materials, archiving, historical enterprise, American Historical Association, manuscripts, Public Archives Commission, professionalization, archivists

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