What do Historians do in the Summertime? Postcard from Scotland.

View from the Edinburgh University Library special collections reading room:

View from the Edinburgh University Library special collections reading room

Many people unfamiliar with the world of scholarship assume that the summer break between the Spring and Fall semesters is a time for holidays and relaxation. But for historians, the respite from teaching and classes means that summer is often the time when research, writing, conference going, and travel to archives, kicks into high gear.

Our first postcard this summer comes from PhD student Salvatore Cipriano. Supported by a Fordham GSAS Research Support Grant and a Graduate Student Association Professional Development Grant, Sal has been in Scotland since June 1.

Sal writes:

 my research trip so far has involved two cities (Edinburgh and Glasgow) and three archives (the Edinburgh University Library Centre for Research Collections, National Library of Scotland, and and Glasgow University Library Special Collections); there may yet be a fourth archive added to the list, too.

A stack of sources from some rather nervy Scottish commissioners in London, 1652

A stack of sources from some rather nervy Scottish commissioners in London, 1652

I’ve been able to find some really interesting and useful sources for my work on mid-seventeenth Scottish universities and the civil wars (thankfully, enterprising 19th-century antiquarians didn’t publish all of these documents), and have begun writing a conference paper to be presented at the AHA in January. Coincidentally, all of the reading rooms are situated on the top floor of each respective library and therefore provide amazing views of their environs…on the off-chance that it’s sunny. I’ve also become reacquainted with the true Scottish national drink, Irn Bru, and national pastime, eating-while-walking.

Irn Bru, Scotland's other drink

Irn Bru, Scotland’s other drink

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