Research, Research, Research!

May 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm 2 comments

I arrived at the Library this morning a few minutes late but very eager to begin my research nonetheless. I was first shown the reference collection by Eric, which was one of the tidbits that I had missed in the larger tour yesterday. Now if I ever need to immediately look up a phrase in French or what kinds of wines that Jefferson had once enjoyed, I know that there is a quick reference shelf that I can turn to for help.

After checking out the reference shelves followed by the biographies, I grabbed a few recommended titles and sat down to create an index of what chapters (or in 19th century and earlier cases what portions) of each book would have relevant information that I would need for my master essay. It turned out to be very fruitful thus far, with several books having great amounts of information and which even led me to other titles that could elaborate even further. It is also extremely convenient that I am doing this research in a library that specializes in anything and everything Jeffersonian, as nearly any scholarly title that you can dream of, almost any edition, is available right at my fingertips. Fantastic! This is a much greater step up from the average University library I think, as quite a few of the titles that I would be looking for there would either be classified as “lost” or on a 2-hour hold for a course. Not that University libraries are awful, they are in fact quite helpful, but Jefferson Library is a complete dream come true.

As I was looking over the few books that I had checked out I noticed many little gems that dotted volume one of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, such as this one on page 24:

I always was of opinion that placing a youth to study with an attorney was rather a prejudice than a help. We are all too apt by shifting on them our business, to incroach on that time that should be devoted to their studies. The only help a youth wants is to be directed what books to read, and in what order to read them.”

– Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Thomas Turpin dated February 5, 1769

I find this particularly interesting because not only is he dissing on the same method that had trained him as an attorney, but he is also saying something in which this idea of near self-teaching in terms of education may have inspired portions of Emerson’s Education. Interesting! 🙂

Picture of the Day:

My little study space in the Nichols Room at Jefferson Library.

Also, as a side note, I had my I.D. tag made today, so now I’m really official! Wooty woot! 🙂


Entry filed under: Fun!, Research Findings. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. scott  |  May 29, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Your Tagosphere says “Scott Wilson tasty tidbits”.

    I approve.

  • 2. Jen  |  May 29, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    be safe. i love you.


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