Week 6: The Writing Process

This week I completed the first full draft of my paper. I also met with my advisor, and we discussed what the final product from my summer of research should look like. It was challenging for me to organize the research I had done over the summer, but I learned to be flexible and open to change in my writing. 

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Week 5: Diving in to Writing

This week, I focused on reaching out to professors and friends for advice and direction in my research and writing process. In Williamsburg, I met with professors to discuss some of the challenges I’ve faced through my research. I have not studied the twentieth century as much as early America, so I had a lot of questions about resources to learn more about culture in Washington, D.C. during the 1930s and 1940s. In Williamsburg, I met with a professor that specializes in D.C. history and answered a lot of my questions on how to find resources from African American perspectives, which I have had trouble finding in my research. 

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Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives: Fiske Kimball Papers

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Library and Archives was my last stop in the series of archives that I visited this summer. There, I looked through the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission (TJMC) records in the Fiske Kimball Papers. According to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Fiske Kimball was “an art historian and architect who served for thirty years as director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1925-1955) and for thirty-one years as chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation’s Restoration Committee (1924-1955).” The papers contained correspondence, periodicals, photographs, and newspaper clippings from his time as a member of the TJMC. 

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Week 3: George Washington University Special Collections

This week, I went to Washington, D.C. to visit the George Washington University Special Collections to read and examine the League for Progress in Architecture Records. The description of the records implied that there would be insight into John J. Boylan’s stance and influence on the Jefferson Memorial, but the records were mostly letters from architects in the League to members of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission (TJMC).

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Week 2: UVA Small Special Collections

My trip the the UVA Small Special Collections was a success! I looked through 3 boxes of material carefully, and found many useful sources. Most of the material were papers of a man named Brigadier General Jefferson Randolph Kean, who was a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and a member of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission towards the end of his life. Kean’s correspondence and notes on the meetings of the Commission gave me insight into how the commission made decisions about the memorial and interacted with the newspapers and public. Kean’s papers highlighted important figures in the TJMC, including John J. Boylan (the chairman of the commission) and Fiske Kimball. 

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