National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) Grant Award
Award Number: NAR14–DE–50001–14
Grantee: Association for Documentary Editing (ADE)
Project Name: Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents
Project Director: Robert Karachuk, ADE Education Director
Authorized Representative: Constance B. Schulz, ADE Secretary
Grant Officer: Darrell Meadows, NHPRC Director for Publications Projects
Reporting Period: January 1, 2014–December 31, 2016
This report has been prepared and distributed in accordance with the terms of the above grant.
1. The Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents
The Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents is an annual five-day intensive training program for individuals new to the practice of documentary editing. The Editing Institute provides instruction in the principles of documentary editing along with insight into the realities of work on a documentary edition. Established by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in 1972, the Editing Institute has been administered by the Association for Documentary Editing since 2011.
The 43rd Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents was held 20–24 July 2014 at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, in advance of the ADE annual meeting.
The 44th Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents was held 13–17 June 2015 at the Embassy Suites–Downtown Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska, in advance of the ADE annual meeting and joint conference with the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS).
The 45th Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents was held 31 July–4 August 2016 at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, in advance of the ADE annual meeting.
The Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents enrolled 21 participants in 2014, 20 participants in 2015, and 22 participants in 2016, accommodating a total of 63 individuals. (The Editing Institute attracted 49 applicants in 2014, 38 applicants in 2015, and 43 applicants in 2016, drawing a total of 140 applications.)
Participants in the Editing Institute from 2014 to 2016 represented the diversity of the documentary editing community. They included full-time documentary editors as well as college and university faculty and adjuncts, graduate students, archivists, librarians, government and public historians, and independent scholars. Their disciplines included history, English, American studies, ecology, anthropology, political science, religious studies, rhetoric, fine arts, music, historical musicology, interdisciplinary studies as well as archive, library, and museum studies, information science, education/instruction, and publishing.
The projects on which the participants were working ranged from single-person labors of love to large-scale initiatives, start-ups to legacies, short-term plans to uncertain time horizons. Their subject matter included agriculture, borderlands, class, diplomacy, environment, family, finance, gender, government, human rights, law, legislation, literature, media, music, philosophy, politics, race, religion, society, technology, and war.
Participants included twenty-three individuals from sixteen projects endorsed or funded by the NHPRC, including from the Papers of John Adams, Jane Addams Papers, Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition, Emma Goldman Papers, Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT), Selected Papers of John Jay, Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Martin Luther King Jr. Papers, Naval Documents of the American Revolution, New Hampshire Citizen Archivists Initiative, Papers of the Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen, Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Joseph Smith Papers, and Papers of George Washington projects.
Participants also included six project directors from five new large projects, including from the Letters of Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Papers of Martin Van Buren, Papers of Roger B. Taney, Unpublished Correspondence of James Joyce, and The Jesuit Relations: A Digital Edition projects.
Participants in three instances included two individuals from a single project: the coproject directors of the Letters of Catharine Maria Sedgwick, the co-project managers of the Seward Family Archive, and the coordinators of a collaboration between the Office of Art and Archives and the Office of the Historian at the U.S. House of Representatives.
Participants also included six individuals from four projects sponsored by federal agencies, including from the Foreign Relations of the United States (State Department), Naval Documents of the American Revolution (Naval History and Heritage Command), U.S. Navy in World War I Documentary History (Naval History and Heritage Command), and On the Record: Featured Documents of the House of Representatives (U.S. House of Representatives) projects.
Fifty-five participants received full or partial funding. (For applicants from outside the local area, admission to the Editing Institute normally comes with a travel stipend of up to $1,200. Employees of the U.S. government, however, are not eligible for financial support. The Editing Institute charges no tuition or fees.)
In the forty-five years since its inception, the Editing Institute has produced more than 800 graduates.
The resident faculty of the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents from 2014 to 2016 included Cathy Moran Hajo of the Jane Addams Papers at Ramapo College of New Jersey (2014–2016), Jennifer Stertzer of the Washington Papers at the University of Virginia (2014–2016), Ondine E. LeBlanc of the Massachusetts Historical Society (2014–2015), Amanda Gailey of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (2016), and Bob Karachuk of the Papers of the Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen at the University of South Carolina (2014–2016).
Each year, the resident faculty of the Editing Institute are joined for the last day or two of activities by a special faculty member who also serves as graduation speaker. Timothy Connelly, NHPRC Director for Publications, Retired, filled the role in 2014. Beth Luey, immediate past ADE Education Director and Founding Director of the Scholarly Publishing Program at Arizona State University, played the part in 2015. Esther Katz, Editor and Director of the Margaret Sanger Papers at New York University, did the job in 2016.
The Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents focuses on the core tasks of documentary editing—collection and control, selection and organization, transcription and markup, annotation and contextualization, and indexing and tagging. Attention is also given to broader concerns—project design, planning and budgeting, funding and promotion, production and publication, and the future of the field.
Although provided with session guidelines drawn from institutional experience, Editing Institute faculty rely, as a matter of course, on their own expertise as editors and instructors in determining the material to cover and the means to convey it. The exact curriculum in any given year, however, depends on the needs of the participants. To assist the faculty in tailoring the curriculum, the participants are asked to fill out a preliminary questionnaire designed to elicit from each individual a sense of their particular project, including their objectives in pursuing it and the challenges getting in their way.
Reflecting trends in documentary editing in general, the curriculum and methodologies of the Editing Institute have in recent years been shifted toward increased instruction in digital editing. Continuing that shift, the content and teaching of the Editing Institute have been reframed so that digital is now the default context for all conversation.
To increase participant engagement, the Editing Institute embraces the use of interactive teaching strategies. The structure of the Editing Institute has been reworked to allow ample time for participants to do in-class assignments and also share what they learned along the way. Specific periods have been set aside for breakout sessions during which participants engage in hands-on training activities and project spotlights during which they present their respective projects and primary challenges.
2. ADE Career Skills Workshop/ADE Seminar on Critical Issues
The Association for Documentary Editing began hosting its Career Skills Workshops in conjunction with its annual meeting in 2011. The workshops were intended to provide opportunities for experienced documentary editors to receive targeted training to enhance their professional abilities.
The 2014 ADE Career Skills Workshop was held on 24 July at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the ADE. The full-day workshop provided intensive training in project management. The instructor was Steven Hoskins, longtime project director of the American Association for State and Local History’s Project Management for History Professionals Program. Twelve individuals registered and participated.
The 2015 ADE Career Skills Workshop was held on 17 June at the Embassy Suites–Downtown Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska, in conjunction with the ADE annual meeting and joint conference with the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS). The two-hour workshop provided intensive training in the use of various social media as promotional tools. The instructor was Ali Schwanke, an independent marketing consultant and strategist with extensive experience in online marketing. Thirteen individuals registered and participated.
Implementing a shift discussed with the NHPRC in advance conversations on the renewal of the grant that supports the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents and other ADE education initiatives, the ADE has discontinued the professional development training opportunities that it ran in conjunction with its annual meeting since 2011. Rather than a traditional instructional workshop, the ADE now hosts a collaborative learning seminar in which a panel of experts with varying experience leads a general discussion on an important issue facing the documentary editing discipline. To reflect the shift in emphasis, the session is called a Seminar on Critical Issues rather than a Career Skills Workshop.
The 2016 ADE Seminar on Critical Issues explored the issue of advocacy. The seminar was held on 4 August at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a plenary session at the ADE annual meeting. It was led by Lee White of the National Coalition for History. White was joined by Mary Jo Binker of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers at George Washington University, Kent Calder of the University of Oklahoma Press, Josh Smith of the Franz Boas Papers at the University of Western Ontario, and Bob Karachuk of the Papers of the Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen at the University of South Carolina. More than forty people attended the seminar.
3. ADE Collaborative Workshops
The Association for Documentary Editing began offering its Collaborative Workshops to members of related professional organizations in 2014. The workshops are intended to provide opportunities for training in the fundamentals of documentary editing to historians, archivists, librarians, and other professionals who do not identify as documentary editors but act as documentary editors in the course of their work.
An ADE Collaborative Workshop was held on 15 April 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the National Council on Public History (NCPH). The half-day workshop, titled “Introduction to Documentary Editing,” provided an overview of the goals, principles, and practices of documentary editing for an audience largely unfamiliar with the field. The instructors included Bob Karachuk and Constance B. Schulz, both of the Papers of the Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen at the University of South Carolina.
A second ADE Collaborative Workshop was held on 3 March 2016 in Williamsburg, Virginia, as a plenary session at the Virginia Forum. Titled “‘Beyond the Reach of Accident’: A Workshop on Documentary Editing,” the workshop provided participants with help in acquiring the basic principles of documentary editing and advice about how to get started or how best to present their material so that it can reach and inform a wide audience. The workshop was proposed by J. Jefferson Looney of the Thomas Jefferson Papers: Retirement Series at Monticello and presented by him and his project colleagues, Robert F. Haggard, Ellen C. Hickman, and Julie L. Lautenschlager.
A third ADE Collaborative Workshop was held on 16 March 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with a joint meeting of the National Council on Public History (NCPH) and the Society for History in the Federal Government (SHFG). The half-day workshop, titled “Introduction to Documentary Editing,” aimed to provide an overview of the goals, principles, and practices of documentary editing for an audience largely unfamiliar with the field. The instructors included Bob Karachuk and Connie Schulz.
A fourth ADE Collaborative Workshop was scheduled to be held on 14 September 2016 in Detroit, Michigan, in conjunction with a joint meeting of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and the Michigan Museums Association (MMA). The full-day workshop, titled “Easy To Read: A Guide to Transcribing Historical Documents,” was intended to introduce participants to best practices in transcribing historical documents, showing them how to reproduce original manuscripts as typescripts that are both easytoread and reliable. The instructor was to be Bob Karachuk. The workshop was canceled shortly before it was to run, for lack of interest. (Only one person had signed up for it.)
The ADE unsuccessfully submitted proposals for Collaborative Workshops to the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) division of the American Library Association (ALA), the Louisiana Historical Association (LHA), the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC), New England Archivists (NEA), and a joint conference of the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM), the Society of Tennessee Archivists (STA), and the Tennessee Preservation Trust (TPT).
Although program committees of related professional organizations uniformly acknowledge the desirability of getting documentary editing in front of their members, it has proved difficult to gain their acceptance of workshops on the subject. As an alternative approach, the ADE will experiment with proposing conference sessions. We need to be missionaries as much as teachers, arranging conference sessions that demonstrate the need for training in documentary editing in addition to offering workshops that provide that training.
The Association for Documentary Editing entrusts the day-to-day administration of the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents, ADE Career Skills Workshop/ADE Seminar on Critical Issues, ADE Collaborative Workshops, and other education initiatives to the ADE Education Director. Bob Karachuk of the Papers of the Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen at the University of South Carolina served in that capacity from 2014 to 2016.
The ADE Education Director is supported by the ADE Education Programs Advisory Board. From 2014 to 2016, the board consisted of ADE Education Director Bob Karachuk (chair), immediate past ADE Education Director Beth Luey, J. Jefferson Looney of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series at Monticello, Cathy Moran Hajo of the Jane Addams Papers at Ramapo College of New Jersey, Andrew Jewell of the Willa Cather Archive at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and Amanda Norton of the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
5. For Further Information
For further information on this report or any matter related to its contents, please e-mail Bob Karachuk, ADE Education Director, 2014–2016, at firstname.lastname@example.org.