Loyalty and Memory: A Civil War Scrapbook in Baltimore
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Type of Work32 p.
DepartmentHistory and Historic Preservation
RightsCollection may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. To obtain information or permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Goucher Special Collections & Archives at 410-337-6347 or email email@example.com.
This paper is evidence of the power that a primary source can have over a researcher when that source inspires more questions than answers. When I was first introduced to the series of Civil War Scrapbooks in Goucher’s Special Collections I had not planned to write a paper about American history. My majors are in Spanish and History, and I had expected to write about Latin America, or at least to use a primary source in Spanish for my research paper. The mystery of the scrapbooks, however, was too tempting to resist. The resources in Goucher’s library were central to my research. I spent many hours in Goucher’s Special Collections looking at the six scrapbooks, and whenever I needed to give my research direction I would study the shelves of the library, looking for titles that could give new insight to my research. As a result, the majority of my secondary sources are books that I found in the library. The process of writing this paper showed me how much research is driven by curiosity. When I first saw the scrapbooks I immediately wanted to know more about who made them, what the creator’s life had been like, and whether there were more scrapbooks like these. I realized that the newspaper clippings of the scrapbook were not going to give me the answers that I wanted; I would need to learn more about Baltimore during the Civil War and follow the clues the primary source gave me to find out more about these scrapbooks. The only answers I would get were the ones that I found for myself. This project gave me the opportunity to use my research skills to solve an intriguing mystery.