CWGK Welcomes the 2019 Graduate Research Associates— Melissa DeVelvis and Peter Thomas

Once again, with funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Civil War Governors of Kentucky (CWGK) recruited two Graduate Research Associates (GRAs) from premier history programs across the United States to help annotate 300 documents in 2018.

The GRAs underscore a core principle of CWGK and KHS, that how the work of history gets done is as important as the fact that it gets done. The GRA positions allow CWGK to nurture research skills in emerging scholars as well as exposing them to digital project startup and management, collaborative work as a member of a research team, the establishment and maintenance of project policies, and the production of historical knowledge in diverse forms for audiences beyond academia. Working as a GRA on the CWGK project not only builds these students’ digital humanities skills portfolios, it makes them better scholarly researchers by encouraging them to flip their engagement with the archive and to think seriously about how research collection are built and curated as well as how they are used by audiences beyond academic researchers like themselves.

The 2018 GRA class is as follows:

DeVelvis is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of South Carolina studying the nineteenth-century U.S. South under Dr. Mark Smith. Her dissertation examines gender and secession in South Carolina and the intersection of emotion and politics. DeVelvis also works as an interpretive guide for the Historic Columbia Foundation and as a graduate manuscript processing assistant at the South Caroliniana Library. Most recently, she processed the collection of the late Bishop John Hurst Adams, Civil Rights and religious leader.

Thomas is a history Ph.D. candidate at Auburn University studying Civil War-era America under Dr. Kenneth Noe. He received two degrees in Economics and History from Emory & Henry College and an M.A. in History from the University of North Florida  . While at UNF, he defended a master’s thesis that explored the Civil War soldier’s transition from citizen to soldier, and he also worked closely with the Jacksonville Historical Society. At Auburn, in addition to his duties as a graduate teaching assistant for the history department, Thomas has worked as an editor and author for the Encyclopedia of Alabama, a cultural resource specialist for the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities, and a graduate research assistant for Dr. Elijah Gaddis, who co-founded Community Histories Workshop. Thomas’s dissertation research combines the methods of environmental and military historians in order to understand the relationship between Civil War soldiers and military encampments. Thomas plans to teach an upper-level Civil War and Reconstruction course this summer at Auburn, and in the fall and spring he is scheduled to teach World History survey courses.

2019 Graduate Research Associates

Overview: The Kentucky Historical Society seeks two Graduate Research Associates (GRAs) familiar with 19th century United States history to write short informational entries for the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition (CWGK). GRAs will receive a stipend of $5,000 each and can work remotely from their home institutions.

Each GRA will annotate 150 assigned documents. Each GRA must be a graduate student in at least the second year of a M.A. program in history or a related humanities discipline. These positions are funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a branch of the National Archives. This continues a successful two-year program that has involved 10 GRAs

CWGK is an annotated, searchable, and freely-accessible online edition of documents associated with the chief executives of the commonwealth, 1860-1865. Yet CWGK is not solely about the five governors; it is about reconstructing the lost lives and voices of tens of thousands of Kentuckians who interacted with the office of the governor during the war years. CWGK will identify, research, and link together every person, place, and organization found in its documents. This web of hundreds of thousands of networked nodes will dramatically expand the number of actors in Kentucky and U.S. history, show scholars new patterns and hidden relationships, and recognize the humanity and agency of historically marginalized people. To see the project’s work to date, visit discovery.civilwargovernors.org.

Scope of Work: Each GRA will be responsible for researching and writing short entries on named persons, places, organizations, and geographical features in 150 documents. Each document contains an average of fifteen such entities. This work will be completed and submitted to CWGK for fact-checking before December 1, 2019.

Research and writing will proceed according to project guidelines concerning research sources and methods, editorial information desired, and adherence to house style. This will ensure 1) that due diligence is done to the research of each entity and 2) that information is recorded for each item in uniform ways which are easy to encode and search.

All research for the entries must be based in primary or credible secondary sources, and each GRA is expected to keep a virtual research file with notes and digital images of documents related to each entry. These will be examined regularly by the CWGK team as they fact check the GRA output and turned over to CWGK at the completion of the work. CWGK will fact-check all entries for research quality and adherence to house style. CWGK projects an average rate of one document annotated per two hours of work. Each GRA may expect their workload to be similar to adding on another class for the semester. They should expect to complete an average of 4 to 5 documents per week, though this may vary.

Each GRA will work remotely. Interaction with the documents and the writing of annotations will take place in a web-based annotation tool developed for CWGK, which can be dialed into from any location. CWGK will make use of online research databases to make its work efficient and uniform. Other archival sources may be of value but are not required by the research guidelines. Securing access to the paid databases required by CWGK (Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, and ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Louisville Courier Journal) is the responsibility of the GRA. If regular institutional access to these databases is not available to the GRA through a university or library, it is the responsibility of the GRA to purchase and use a subscription to these databases. KHS will not reimburse the GRA for any travel, copying, or other expenses incurred in CWGK research.

In order to maintain quality and consistency as well as to foster a collegial and collaborative work culture, CWGK will conduct weekly virtual “office hours” via Google Hangouts, during which GRAs are required to dial in, ask questions of staff, share expertise and research methods, and make connections with their peers. Virtual attendance at these office hours is mandatory, and multiple sessions may be offered to accommodate schedules.

The Kentucky Historical Society will hold copyright for all annotation research as work for hire.

Evaluation Criteria: A proposal should consist of at least a narrative statement of professional ability in the form of a cover letter, a CV, and two letters of recommendation. Additional supplementary materials that demonstrate capacity in the evaluation factors may also be included.

Proposal materials should be submitted to Patrick Lewis at patrick.lewis@ky.gov by no later than February 4, 2019. Any questions about the GRA program may be directed to Lewis as well.

The Kentucky Historical Society will evaluate the proposals based on the following factors:

Research Experience (70 points): Describe your familiarity with research in 19th century U.S. history. Describe some projects you have undertaken. What sources have you used? Have you been published? Have you interpreted historical research in forms other than a scholarly peer-reviewed publication? Discuss how a digital archival experience differs from your traditional archival experience.

Project Experience (30 points): Describe any work you have done in the editing of historical documents. Discuss how a project such as CWGK maintains balance between thorough research and production schedules. Have you worked on other collaborative projects in the field of history or otherwise? Describe the importance of time management and deadlines in your work. Describe your understanding of and/or experience with the Digital Humanities. From what you know of the CWGK project, how does it fit with current trends in the field? What do you hope to gain from working on the CWGK project?

CWGK in 2019: Hunting for Confederate Kentucky

The Problem

For as much work as CWGK has done to highlight the voices of the socially powerless, an equally important component of the project will be finding more and better documentation on the influential Confederate minority in the state. Curiously, for as heavily weighted as Civil War memory and, until recently, historiography has been towards the Confederacy, there is still a dearth of contemporary evidence from the pens of those engaged in rebellion against the state and the nation. Unlike the states which unambiguously seceded and brought with them their administrative apparatus, Kentucky Confederates (civil and military) were figureheads focused more on revolution than governing. They left little surviving paper.

The place of 1860s primary evidence has been taken by memoir, reminiscence, and Lost Cause-influenced history writing of the late nineteenth century. Recent historiography has made scholars wary of these flawed sources, but outside of them there has been terribly little with which to mount a substantial reevaluation of the Confederate movement in Kentucky. In the absence of a compelling new narrative that shows the detachment of secessionist motivations and activities from the interests of the majority of Kentucky citizens, myths about a nostalgic Confederate past still linger in the public sphere. KHS can facilitate the research, publications, and public programming that can change this narrative, but CWGK’s work is the foundational step.

CWGK can do some of this through existing documents within its corpus. Sometimes the evidence is direct, like the bullet points of a secession speech by future provisional Confederate governor George W. Johnson, which reveals the often extemporaneous and unreported content of arguments framed to voters on the ground.  Some unexpected treasures have been a body of asides and postscripts found in routine correspondence between the governors and their constituents. One Magoffin correspondent, John D. Berry, expanded on a pardon application for a friend with useful opposition research on Union arguments advanced at a debate in bitterly divided Bath County. CWGK also hopes to find more Confederate material in its expanded document search. KHS recently acquired one piece of correspondence from Johnson, which suggests the type of evidence that might be found in Richmond and the other Confederate state capitals.

As the documents from a bizarre 1861 secessionist plot to procure arms show, understanding the Confederate movement in Kentucky is about far more than politics. The networks of Bluegrass bankers, pork packers, cotton factors, a quack doctor with a penchant for biological warfare, fire-eating railroad barons, sugar-planting politicians, and Transatlantic shipping outfits which Beriah Magoffin employed in his efforts to buy weapons in the Caribbean and illicitly arm a disloyal faction of Kentucky militia read like something between a Mark Twain story and the recent scholarship of Joshua Rothman or Walter Johnson.

Among the many things we may conclude from the farcical attempts to launder $200,000 to purchase $15 worth of percussion caps through a bourbon-fueled French Quarter haze and a Jacksonian banking fiasco is that CWGK’s social networking capabilities are perfectly suited to chart and study the types of kinship-political-business relationships that underlay antebellum cotton capitalism and interpersonal early American politics. A historian might now safely posit that Kentucky’s 1861 neutrality was not an inward facing, isolationist political posture. The way Magoffin managed arms procurement demonstrates that he understood the Civil War as a conflict over global agricultural and industrial markets, a war fought for the interests of the southern states in and on an international stage. When Magoffin needed arms, he tapped into the networks that funneled cotton, slaves, and capital up and down the river from Kentucky and out to the world.

If this type of evidence is to be found at a scale that can influence historiography, it will likely be uncovered through scouring the captured Confederate records within NARA and the Library of Congress for interactions between Kentucky rebel officials and the Confederate national government. This is where CWGK will begin moving in 2019.

The Plan

In 2018, CWGK began initial explorations of in-scope material from the Governors and the Provisional Confederate Governors held by federal repositories in the Washington D.C. area. Specifically, CWGK was to explore NARA microfilm to test the viability of a hybrid search that would conduct initial identification and imaging by microfilm in Frankfort and then sending an imaging team to the D.C. area in the future to acquire high-resolution images suitable for publication.

Obviously, there is a huge volume of material to search through, and any number of potential approaches. CWGK settled on two criteria for beginning document identification work: the likelihood of return and the remote availability of materials. To assess the former, CWGK surveyed NARA finding aids and the Federal Records Guide for likely overlap with existing CWGK materials and correspondents. CWGK Assistant Editor Tony Curtis surveyed 584 record groups and identified 65 that might have material relevant to CWGK. Of that 65, he applied his knowledge of CWGK’s existing scope to narrow down to 22 record groups most likely to contain relevant material. They are:

  • RG# 46 – Records of the U.S. Senate
  • RG# 48 – Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior
  • RG# 56 – General Records of the Department of the Treasury
  • RG# 92 – Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General [OQMG]
  • RG# 94 – Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s-1917 [AGO]
  • RG# 105 – Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands
  • RG# 107 – Records of the Office of the Secretary of War
  • RG# 108 – Records of the Headquarters of the Army
  • RG# 109 – War Department Collection of Confederate Records
  • RG# 110 – Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War)
  • RG# 153 – Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army)
  • RG# 156 – Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance
  • RG# 159 – Records of the Office of the Inspector General (Army)
  • RG# 204 – Records of the Office of the Pardon Attorney
  • RG# 233 – Records of the United States House of Representatives
  • RG# 249 – Records of the Commissary General of Prisoners
  • RG# 365 – Treasury Department Collection of Confederate Records
  • RG# 366 – Records of Civil War Special Agencies of the Treasury Department
  • RG# 391 – Records of United States Regular Army Mobile Units, 1821-1942
  • RG# 393 – Records of United States Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920
  • RG# 404 – Records of the United States Military Academy
  • RG# 405 – Records of the U.S. Naval Academy

Then CWGK began to filter those targeted record groups by remote availability. Early in 2018, CWGK processed 27 shipping boxes containing over 1,600 rolls of NARA microfilm shipped to KHS from the NHPRC lending library. Unfortunately, as CWGK explored these materials, the staff the NARA Microfilm publications do not easily correspond to the record group system. Each publication is a curated assemblage of thematically related records from one or more record groups or subgroups. Except in certain limited cases, CWGK is skeptical of the practicality of microfilm as a substitute for an on-site search team. Searching a given microfilm publication or publications does not guarantee an exhaustive search of the corresponding record groups or sections of record groups.

CWGK intended to focus its initial efforts on Confederate records in RGs 109 and 365 to bolster the scarce documentation that the project has on the operations of the Provisional Government of Kentucky during and especially after the death of George W. Johnson. The initial target in federal records was to have been RG 48, the Department of the Interior. Unfortunately, the microfilm available on-site from the NHPRC lending library had very little coverage in these record groups. The most promising publication was M627 Letters and Telegrams Sent by the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General 1861-1865. Initial explorations of this publication, though, suggested that CWGK needed a much more detailed picture of the bureaucratic interactions between the Confederate government in Richmond and the Provisional Confederate Government of Kentucky to make searching this publication valuable at the present time.

Still wanting to identify records relating to the poorly understood rebel government of Kentucky (in no small part to better prepare CWGK to tackle series like M627), CWGK turned to another microfilm collection on hand, M1003 Case files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons (Amnesty Papers) 1865-1867. This microfilm series is divided by state of residence for the rebel applicant, so there will be a discreet Kentucky section to allow for more targeted searching. More importantly the digitization of these materials by Fold3 has previewed the research value of these documents—and their overlap with the scope of CWGK. Simply put, the Unionist political elite in Kentucky vouched for the ex-Confederate political elite in the form of letters of recommendation to Andrew Johnson. Thomas E. Bramlette, James F. Robinson, and other figures who emerge as hyper-networked political movers and shakers in the published CWGK material from Kentucky repositories explain their relationships to those officers, politicians, and wealthy planters who led the Confederate movement in Kentucky. Those same ex-rebels are required to give short summary statements of the crimes they committed against the United States during those years. This is an ideal collection to convert CWGK’s knowledge of the loyal political constellation into a chart that will help explore the Kentucky Confederate shadow government in Bowling Green, in exile, and in Richmond.

M1003 has already been digitized by Fold3. This is ideal for CWGK. It will allow the project to test two different modes of remote document identification, metadata collection, and imaging for initial editorial work. CWGK will alternate letters of the alphabet (petitions are filed by surname of pardon applicant) between microfilm identification, control, and imaging and digital identification using Fold3. CWGK will capture data on the time per record identified and imaged using the two methods and report on the potential for more widespread digital microfilm searching. CWGK will also reach out to explore the potential of data and image sharing between CWGK and Fold3.

These methods could also be applied the Confederate records held by the Library of Congress. LoC has digitized significant amounts of Confederate microfilm, which CWGK will more thoroughly explore and sort into priority targets for document identification work after the NARA Amnesty Papers are complete.

These NARA and LoC documents will immediately be put into the editorial queue for transcription and fast-tracked for publication, though this may still be a few years away. Still, CWGK will begin to amass a more detailed picture of secessionist Kentucky, and can begin to point researchers in the direction of overlooked subjects and unasked questions before these documents go live.

2019 NHPRC Grant for CWGK

For the fourth time, the Civil War Governors of Kentucky (CWGK) was awarded a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) in the Publishing Historical Records program. The $78,800 grant will fund one full-time staff member and two Graduate Research Associates. The team will continue to digitally publish historical documents and expand the historical social network of over 7,000 individuals.

Read about the other projects funded by NHPRC in this grant cycle here.

CWGK Welcomes Emily D. Moses

The Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition (CWGK) is pleased to announce the addition of Emily D. Moses to the project’s editorial staff.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, and a 2018 recipient of an M.A. in History from Mississippi State University, Moses came to CWGK in July 2018. She is a historian of the carceral state in the nineteenth and twentieth century American South. Her interests include the agricultural, social, economic, and political experiences of convict labor.

Prior to her graduate studies, she served as a research intern and docent for Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark in Birmingham. While at MSU she served as a Teaching Assistant for both Modern and Early United States History courses, where she lead weekly discussion sections. She continued her public history work by helping write and produce a podcast for the project, “A Shaky Truce” highlighting the Civil Rights Movement in Starkville, Mississippi.

Moses’s position is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is focused on conducting annotation research and amplifying CWGK’s outreach efforts to audiences of formal and informal learners. She is already at work with KHS’s Learning Team to develop visual learning and primary source evaluation activities scaled for elementary to undergraduate classrooms. Follow CWGK and KHS to stay up to date about Emily’s work this year!

CWGK Welcomes Graduate Research Associate Lucas Somers

With funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Civil War Governors of Kentucky (CWGK) recruited two Graduate Research Associates (GRAs) from premier history programs across the United States to help annotate 300 documents in 2018.

The GRAs underscore a core principle of CWGK and KHS, that how the work of history gets done is as important as the fact that it gets done. The GRA positions allow CWGK to nurture research skills in emerging scholars as well as exposing them to digital project startup and management, collaborative work as a member of a research team, the establishment and maintenance of project policies, and the production of historical knowledge in diverse forms for audiences beyond academia. Working as a GRA on the CWGK project not only builds these students’ digital humanities skills portfolios, it makes them better scholarly researchers by encouraging them to flip their engagement with the archive and to think seriously about how research collection are built and curated as well as how they are used by audiences beyond academic researchers like themselves.

Joining Brianna Kirk of the University of Virginia as 2018 GRA will be Lucas Somers of the University of Southern Mississippi

Lucas Somers
University of Southern Mississippi

Somers is a history Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Mississippi studying the era of the American Civil War and Reconstruction under Dr. Susannah J. Ural. He received a B.A. and M.A. in History from Western Kentucky University where he served as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Institute for Civil War Studies and completed a master’s thesis in which he explored the reported dreams and visions of Abraham Lincoln. While at USM, Somers has worked as a graduate researcher for the Beauvoir Veteran Project and is working toward the Graduate Certificate in Public History. Somers aims to write a dissertation which will examine ways communities in the South dealt with the trauma and suffering of the Civil War.

NEH-Funded Research Associate Vacancy

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) is a state agency and membership organization that is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The KHS mission is to educate and engage the public through Kentucky history in order to confront the challenges of the future.

The Kentucky Historical Society seeks a Research Associate to join the staff of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition (CWGK), a digital humanities project which provides visual, textual and intellectual access to documents associated with the state’s Civil War governors.

CWGK successfully published 10,000 documents online from libraries and archives in Kentucky in the summer of 2016 and expanded into writing biographies of named individuals and social networking in 2018.  CWGK wants to maintain its high rate of editorial production while developing new resources for classroom teachers and community leaders to address critical issues facing Kentuckians today.

The Research Associate will perform editorial work and will also assist KHS staff in developing, publishing, and promoting a themed lesson plan scaled for K-12, higher education and public forum settings.  This will foster in the Research Associate the five key career skills identified by the Mellon/AHA Career Diversity for Historians initiative: Communication, Collaboration, Quantitative Literacy, Intellectual Self-Confidence, and Digital Literacy.

Other duties include, but are not limited to, assisting the Research Experience team with library functions including reference and promotion of KHS collections and programs, and working collaboratively with staff of other repositories.

This is a Federally Funded, Time Limited position made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Anticipated timeframe is July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019.

Qualifications:

Masters degree in history, archives, editing, education or related field OR Bachelors degree with 2 years experience in history, archives, editing, education or related field is required.  Research specialization in 19th century U.S. history, experience with documentary editing, classroom teaching experience, and/or digital humanities is preferred.

Must be willing to travel within Kentucky and other states. Must be willing to occasionally work evenings and weekends. Must possess valid driver’s license.  Must have familiarity with internet, word processing, spreadsheets, and email.  Special training in or experience with photo editing, database use and management, XML (particularly TEI) encoding, and online exhibition software is preferred.

Must be able to complete editorial tasks with the highest attention to detail. Must be able to self-regulate work rate and complete multiple assigned tasks accurately and efficiently.  Must be able to lift materials of up to 40 lbs. Must be able to safely handle fragile archival materials. Must be able to remain stationary for extended periods.

Annual salary for this position is $32,000. Benefits include paid health and life insurance, vacation and sick leave, holiday pay, state retirement and optional deferred compensation plan.  This is a full-time position located in Frankfort, Kentucky.

To apply, e-mail a complete dossier including: cover letter, C.V., transcripts, contact information (email, telephone) for three professional references and a short (2 pp. max) statement of your experience with or appreciation of digital humanities and/or documentary editing. All files should be in Word or PDF format and sent to khs.hr@ky.gov. No phone calls please.

Application deadline is May 15, 2018.  Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D

For more information on CWGK, visit discovery.civilwargovernors.org.
To learn more about the Kentucky Historical Society, go to http://history.ky.gov.

 

CWGK Welcomes Graduate Research Associates—Scott Ackerman and Brianna Kirk

Once again, with funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Civil War Governors of Kentucky (CWGK) recruited two Graduate Research Associates (GRAs) from premier history programs across the United States to help annotate 300 documents in 2018.

The GRAs underscore a core principle of CWGK and KHS, that how the work of history gets done is as important as the fact that it gets done. The GRA positions allow CWGK to nurture research skills in emerging scholars as well as exposing them to digital project startup and management, collaborative work as a member of a research team, the establishment and maintenance of project policies, and the production of historical knowledge in diverse forms for audiences beyond academia. Working as a GRA on the CWGK project not only builds these students’ digital humanities skills portfolios, it makes them better scholarly researchers by encouraging them to flip their engagement with the archive and to think seriously about how research collection are built and curated as well as how they are used by audiences beyond academic researchers like themselves.

The 2018 GRA class is as follows:

Scott Ackerman
City University of New York

Ackerman is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His dissertation, entitled “Men Whose Hearts Are In The Work’: The Union Army and the Implementation of Federal Emancipation Policy, 1862-1865,” examines the links between military emancipation and the broader antislavery agenda of the Republican Party. He holds an MA in American History from George Mason University and a BA in history from Dickinson College. A practicing museum professional and public historian, he has previously worked for President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C., and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. He currently serves as a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow at Bronx Community College.

Brianna Kirk
University of Virginia

Kirk is a history Ph.D. student at the University of Virginia studying the Civil War and Reconstruction under Dr. Elizabeth Varon. A 2015 graduate of Gettysburg College, her research interests focus on the immediate post-war period and Civil War memory. After graduating from Gettysburg, Kirk entered the public history world and worked at the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, Virginia, as the Lead Historical Interpreter and Visitor Engagement Supervisor. While there, she spoke on various topics related to Civil War history and memory, and even learned how to fire a rifled musket and a cannon. Now back in the academic world, Kirk is currently writing her master’s thesis on the Norfolk Race Riot that occurred in Norfolk, Virginia, in April 1866.

2018 Graduate Research Associates

Overview

The Kentucky Historical Society seeks two Graduate Research Associates (GRAs) familiar with 19th century United States history to write short informational entries for the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition (CWGK). GRAs will receive a stipend of $5,000 each and can work remotely from their home institutions.

Each GRA will annotate 150 assigned documents. Each GRA must be a graduate student in at least the second year of a M.A. program in history or a related humanities discipline. These positions are funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a branch of the National Archives. This continues a successful program begun with eight GRAs in the 2016-17 academic year.

CWGK is an annotated, searchable, and freely-accessible online edition of documents associated with the chief executives of the commonwealth, 1860-1865. Yet CWGK is not solely about the five governors; it is about reconstructing the lost lives and voices of tens of thousands of Kentuckians who interacted with the office of the governor during the war years. CWGK will identify, research, and link together every person, place, and organization found in its documents. This web of hundreds of thousands of networked nodes will dramatically expand the number of actors in Kentucky and U.S. history, show scholars new patterns and hidden relationships, and recognize the humanity and agency of historically marginalized people. To see the project’s work to date, visit discovery.civilwargovernors.org.

Scope of Work

Each GRA will be responsible for researching and writing short entries on named persons, places, organizations, and geographical features in 150 documents. Each document contains an average of fifteen such entities. This work will be completed and submitted to CWGK for fact-checking before December 1, 2018.

Research and writing will proceed according to project guidelines concerning research sources and methods, editorial information desired, and adherence to house style. This will ensure 1) that due diligence is done to the research of each entity and 2) that information is recorded for each item in uniform ways which are easy to encode and search.

All research for the entries must be based in primary or credible secondary sources, and each GRA is expected to keep a virtual research file with notes and digital images of documents related to each entry. These will be examined regularly by the CWGK team as they fact check the GRA output and turned over to CWGK at the completion of the work. CWGK will fact-check all entries for research quality and adherence to house style. CWGK projects an average rate of one document annotated per two hours of work. Each GRA may expect to devote approximately 300 hours to the research—though the actual investment of time may vary.

Each GRA will work remotely. Interaction with the documents and the writing of annotations will take place in a web-based annotation tool developed for CWGK, which can be dialed into from any location. CWGK will make use of online research databases to make its work efficient and uniform. Other archival sources may be of value but are not required by the research guidelines. Securing access to the paid databases required by CWGK (Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, and ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Louisville Courier Journal) is the responsibility of the GRA. If regular institutional access to these databases is not available to the GRA through a university or library, it is the responsibility of the GRA to purchase and use a subscription to these databases. KHS will not reimburse the GRA for any travel, copying, or other expenses incurred in CWGK research.

In order to maintain quality and consistency as well as to foster a collegial and collaborative work culture, CWGK will conduct weekly virtual “office hours” via Google Hangouts, during which GRAs are required to dial in, ask questions of staff, share expertise and research methods, and make connections with their peers. Virtual attendance at these office hours is mandatory, and multiple sessions may be offered to accommodate schedules.

The Kentucky Historical Society will hold copyright for all annotation research as work for hire.

Evaluation Criteria

A proposal should consist of at least a narrative statement of professional ability in the form of a cover letter, a CV, and two letters of recommendation. Additional supplementary materials that demonstrate capacity in the evaluation factors may also be included.

Proposal materials should be submitted to Tony Curtis at tony.curtis@ky.gov by no later than February 15, 2018. Any questions about the GRA program may be directed to Curtis as well.

The Kentucky Historical Society will evaluate the proposals based on the following factors:

Research Experience (70 points): Describe your familiarity with research in 19th century U.S. history. Describe some projects you have undertaken. What sources have you used? Have you been published? Have you interpreted historical research in forms other than a scholarly peer-reviewed publication? How does the proposed research project differ from those you have undertaken in the past? Describe your familiarity with the strengths and weaknesses of online research databases such as Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, ProQuest, and Google Books.

Project Experience (30 points): Describe any work you have done in the editing of historical documents. Discuss how a project such as CWGK maintains balance between thorough research and production schedules. Have you worked on other collaborative projects in the field of history or otherwise? Describe your ability to meet deadlines and regulate workflow. Describe your understanding of and/or experience with the Digital Humanities. From what you know of the CWGK project, how does it fit with current trends in the field? What do you hope to gain from working on the CWGK project?

CWGK Welcomes Natalie C. Smith

The Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition (CWGK) is pleased to announce the addition of Natalie C. Smith to the project’s editorial staff.

Smith’s position is funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and is focused on preparing both texts and annotations for publication in the newly expanded CWGK web interface.

Smith brings skills in publishing, textual editing, and digital database research from her work on a Master of Letters in Romantic and Victorian English literature from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Most recently, Smith has served as a program assistant for the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, where she was involved in civics educational outreach and gained archival experience working at the center’s Mitch McConnell and Elaine L. Chao Archives.

Smith’s academic and professional work has placed her at the center of collections management, digital research and publication, and creative public outreach within the Commonwealth. These linked missions lay at the heart of CWGK, and allow the project to play a dynamic role in the life of the Kentucky Historical Society and national organizations such as the Association for Documentary Editing. “Academic research today is fundamentally different than it once was,” Smith says, “and the expansion of digital humanities responds to the ever-constant cry that the humanities are in crisis.” Smith will add momentum to CWGK’s ongoing efforts to address that crisis on multiple fronts. “Together with my work coordinating professional development opportunities with Kentucky social studies teachers, my passion for making Kentucky history more accessible to the public has grown.”

“I desire to give back to my home state of Kentucky,” the Elizabethtown native and University of Louisville alum concludes. CWGK and KHS are excited to afford new opportunities for Natalie to do so.