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View Full Version : Don't mean to stir up a hornet's nest.....request for help!



MargaretO'Grady
11-28-2006, 06:49 PM
Dear Forum Members,
Some of you already know me from previous posts, I’m Meg. Next year will be my first full season with my own unit; for the past three years, been kinda tagging along for many of the events. I am currently a civilian, but am in the middle of preparing a laundress and vivandiere impression for next season. I’m actually posting for academic help.
Now, I’ve read enough on this forum to know the kind of reception some students can get. Please take the time to read this post before you make up your mind. I am currently a master’s student at the University of Maryland where I hope to earn a degree in information management. For one of my courses this semester, “User Groups and Information Use”, we have to write a paper on the information seeking behaviors of any user group. As a reenactor, I am writing this paper on historians, and the living history/reenacting community in particular.
Hopefully you’re still reading this post...I am in no way asking for the community at large to write this paper for me. If you don’t believe me, please find attached my current works cited list (this is only the academic works which I have cited so far in my first draft. The actual reference/bibliography list is about 5 pages long.) To complement my research, I would like to conduct research in the community. Could you please take a couple minutes to complete the following questions? None of these are meant to be rude or prying, they actually correspond to points made by the referenced authors. The plan is to synthesize the information collected and include it as an informal case study.


Background

Rank
Unit (if applicable)
Impression ( your own, or the core impression for your unit)
Civilian (type please)
Military (US/CSA, Inf/Art/Cal)
Do you have a first or third person impression? A combination of both?
Do you galvanize?

Often/Only when needed/Rarely, strongly prefer not to
How many events do you personally attend each season? How many does your unit attend (in terms of local, national, tacticals, living histories, NCO schools)Research Methods

Do you have preferred methods of research? What are they?
Do you have preferred places/formats to look for information? What are they?
Hard copy text - archives, repositories, diaries, letters, military records
'Tangible objects' - anything dating from the period (civilian or military), antiques, places on the National Historic Register
Electronic sources - online forums, networking with other reenactors, websites, databases
Do you feel you are biased in your research? Why or why not? (having a relative is a more than acceptable answer!)
What research methods do you employ? In other words, what questions do you ask yourself when researching?
How do you select and prepare for your impressions?
For those of you who have published books available for purchase to the general community (military or civilian), what is/was your motive in seeking to write these books and subsequently having them published?

As a gesture of good faith, I am willing to post the paper upon completion (I've already had requests). Please respond via a reply post, as it is considerably easier to reference answers in APA format in this manner. Also, please don't hesitate to ask if any of the questions doesn't make sense ~ I'll post a clarification ASAP!!!! I would like to be able to print and number the posting pages (with all blantent identifiers deleted, of course). Ideally, permission would be granted for me to refer to participants by screen name, but I completely understand that some people might not be comfortable with this...hence...please indicate if I may refer to you by your screen name. All participants will also be formally thanked in a preceding page of acknowledgement. Thank you in advance!

Sincerely,

Margaret O' Grady


P.S. ~ Apologies for crossposting ~ if you still take offense at my request, feel free to post your thoughts and complaints. Most certainly won't take offense!

CandaceRose
11-28-2006, 09:38 PM
Answers are in CAPS

Background
Rank NONE
Unit (if applicable) CITIZENS OF THE BONNIE BLUE
Impression ( your own, or the core impression for your unit) WHATEVER THE EVENT OR VENUE NEEDS
Civilian (type please) ? A CITIZEN IS A CITIZEN
Military (US/CSA, Inf/Art/Cal) NO
Do you have a first or third person impression? A combination of both? BOTH. AGAIN, DEPENDING ON THE VENUE
Do you galvanize? N/A
Often/Only when needed/Rarely, strongly prefer not to
How many events do you personally attend each season? How many does your unit attend (in terms of local, national, tacticals, living histories, NCO schools) NO MORE THAN FIVE OR SIX A YEAR
Research Methods
Do you have preferred methods of research? YES What are they? ORIGINAL DIARIES
Do you have preferred places/formats to look for information? YES What are they? DEPENDING ON OUR VENUE, START WITH THE HISTORIC HOME OR AREA ITSELF. BEGIN WITH GENERAL INFORMATION (CENSUS RECORDS, PROPERTY RECORDS) AND DRILL DOWN AS SPECIFIC AS YOU CAN
Hard copy text - archives, repositories, diaries, letters, military records YES, STATE AND COUNTY ARCHIVES ARE USEFUL; DIARIES ARE GREAT BUT YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY LIMITED TO THE LITERATE POPULATION
'Tangible objects' - anything dating from the period (civilian or military), antiques, places on the National Historic Register YES, SEEING IS BELIEVING! FOR EXAMPLE, WHILE RESEARCHING CIVIL WAR ERA VISITS TO MAMMOTH CAVE WE RAN ACROSS A DAIRY REFERENCING FOLKS FROM NASHVILLE VISITING THE CAVE. WE WENT TO WKU AND WAS ABLE TO ACCESS THE ACTUAL MAMMOTH CAVE HOTEL REGISTER ITSELF FROM THE TIME PERIOD THESE FOLKS ALLEDGEDLY VISITED THE CAVE. THEIR VISIT WAS COMFIRMED AS THE REGISTER CONTAINED THEIR OWN HAND-WRITTEN SIGNATURES. IT WAS VERY, VERY AWE-INSPIRING.
Electronic sources - online forums, networking with other reenactors, websites, databases YES, YES, YES
Do you feel you are biased in your research? Why or why not? (having a relative is a more than acceptable answer!) WE TRY TO BE OPEN MINDED TO THE POSSIBILITY OUR RESEARCH WILL NOT NET US THE INFORMATION WE WERE SEEKING. IN THAT CASE, YOU HAVE TO GO WITH A MORE GENERALIZED IMPRESSION.
What research methods do you employ? In other words, what questions do you ask yourself when researching? WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED FOR A CREDIBLE IMPRESSION? WHAT WOULD THEY HAVE KNOWN?
How do you select and prepare for your impressions? DEPENDS ON THE EVENT OR VENUE
For those of you who have published books available for purchase to the general community (military or civilian), what is/was your motive in seeking to write these books and subsequently having them published? NONE PUBLISHED

Trish Hasenmueller
11-29-2006, 07:02 PM
Background
1. Rank

N/A

2. Unit (if applicable)

Citizens of the Bonnie Blue, The Ladies of Columbia, Ladies’ Soldiers Friend Society, attend some events independently

3. Impression ( your own, or the core impression for your unit)
1. Civilian (type please)

Usually an older woman, as the event/scenario dictate…auntie, mother, grandmother, visiting relative, etc.

2. Do you have a first or third person impression? A combination of both?

Not per se, but have participated in both capacities. Each occurrence is as called for by the event/historic background of the place and people we are depicting. You can’t do what we do and be ‘stuck’ on an impression.

4. Do you galvanize?

We portray a variety of folks and do not decide for ourselves what our political leanings are. We try to find out the thoughts of the people from the 1860’s for our location.

5. How many events do you personally attend each season?

Probably 8-10 including school talks, local cemetery tours, house tours, national events, immersion events, national park weekends, organization-founded weekends, workshops, conferences

6. How many does your unit attend (in terms of local, national, tacticals, living histories, NCO schools)

CBB: around 5
TLC: around 3
LSFS: around 3

Research Methods
1. Do you have preferred methods of research? What are they?

Read, Read, Read! Diaries, any primary information available…information made available from the area we are going to.

2. Do you have preferred places/formats to look for information? What are they?

1. Hard copy text - archives, repositories, diaries, letters, military records

WooHoo! Candace Rose (See her answers to the survey.) and I were together when we found the names we were looking for in the Mammoth Cave Hotel Register for 1862. It sent a chill down my spine, especially since the transcription the library had was completely spelled wrong for our man! We got to correct the transcription because we KNEW who made the signature…we had another example of his signature to go by.

2. 'Tangible objects' - anything dating from the period (civilian or military), antiques, places on the National Historic Register

My favorite place to see tangible objects is the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City. The sheer volume of everyday objects is amazing. Any building on the National Historic Register (and may that are not) is my favorite.

3. Electronic sources - online forums, networking with other reenactors, websites, databases

All very handy and great places to jump off for further learning. I love the Making of America website, Vicki Betts newspaper files, Harpers, and the Duke University online library as well as all the Yahoo lists, Google lists and forums available for reenactors to keep in touch with each other.

3. Do you feel you are biased in your research?
Do you mean politically biased? As in pro-Union or pro-Confederate? No

Why or why not? (having a relative is a more than acceptable answer!)

All our ancestors who lived through the War lived though the same years and months. They each had their own way of coping with the events around them, much as we do today. Each person has a story of his or her own.

4. What research methods do you employ? In other words, what questions do you ask yourself when researching?

What happened at the time we are about to portray? Who was there? What were their attitudes toward the events? What were their economic/family connections circumstances? Hehehe…What kind of wardrobe did they have?

5. How do you select and prepare for your impressions?

I check to see if there are other people I’ll enjoy interacting with, then I make sure I can carry off the impression. I try to devour every bit of information I can find and then I still sometimes feel uninformed…then I rely on general knowledge to fill in the holes. Will we have a building and a roof over our heads? What will the cooking/eating arrangements be? How much/little stuff can we bring?

6. For those of you who have published books available for purchase to the general community (military or civilian), what is/was your motive in seeking to write these books and subsequently having them published?

N/A

bizzilizzit
11-29-2006, 10:32 PM
Background
Rank CIVILIAN
Unit (if applicable), INDEPENDENT, 30th OVI, and CITIZENS OF THE OHIO LOYAL LEAGUE
Impression (your own, or the core impression for your unit) CAMP COOK, PROPRIETRESS PLEASURE CLUB
Civilian (type please) SEE ABOVE
Military (US/CSA, Inf/Art/Cal) US - HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO JUMP THE FENCE
Do you have a first or third person impression? A combination of both? THIRD PERSON
Do you galvanize? YEP, WHEN REQUESTED OR AS NECESSITY REQUIRES
Often/Only when needed/Rarely, strongly prefer not to
How many events do you personally attend each season? How many does your unit attend (in terms of local, national, tacticals, living histories, NCO schools) I ATTEND 1 TO 2 EVENTS PER MONTH BETWEEN APRIL AND OCTOBER – UNITS TOO SOON TO TELL (JUST JOINED)
Research Methods
Do you have preferred methods of research? What are they? LIBRARY - LIBRARIANS
Do you have preferred places/formats to look for information? What are they? LIBRARY, CIVIL WAR SHOWS
Hard copy text - archives, repositories, diaries, letters, military records NEWSPAPERS
'Tangible objects' - anything dating from the period (civilian or military), antiques, places on the National Historic Register - E, ALL OF THE ABOVE
Electronic sources - online forums, networking with other reenactors, websites, databases - DITTO
Do you feel you are biased in your research? Why or why not? (having a relative is a more than acceptable answer!) YES, BUT I'M WORKING ON OVERCOMING NEGATIVE FEELINGS TOWARDS MY MOM'S MISSISSIPPI-BORN EX-HUSBAND
What research methods do you employ? In other words, what questions do you ask yourself when researching? WHO IS THE PERSON I'M RESEARCHING AND WHAT MAKES THEM BEHAVE AS THEY DO
How do you select and prepare for your impressions? VARIES ON THE EVENT, SOMETIMES RESEARCH MATERIAL IS SUPPLIED
For those of you who have published books available for purchase to the general community (military or civilian), what is/was your motive in seeking to write these books and subsequently having them published? WAS DOING PRESENTATIONS AND HANDING OUT MY RESEARCH PAPERS - A FRIEND WHO IS A SUTLER SUGGESTED I EXPAND MY PAPERS AND PUBLISH A BOOK - SO I DID. ALSO, IT'S ON A SUBJECT LITTLE DISCUSSED NOW OR DURING THE CW
ELIZABETH

Delia Godric
11-30-2006, 09:06 AM
Rank
Civilian

Unit (if applicable)
Independent and 22nd Va (in NY)

Impression ( your own, or the core impression for your unit)
Civilian (type please)
Specific to the event.

Do you have a first or third person impression? A combination of both?
Both, depending on the event needs.

Do you galvanize? n/a – civilian
How many events do you personally attend each season?
Normally, 10-20 including living histories, reeactments, school programs, seminars and socials. Recently, fewer due to financial constraints.

How many does your unit attend (in terms of local, national, tacticals, living histories, NCO schools)?
Local – 3- 5 events and LHs, 2-5 commemorations; National 1-2

Research Methods
Do you have preferred methods of research? What are they?
I usually start with quantitative data followed by qualitative information. When researching a specific material topic, I start with production statistics. From there, I cross check any localities, individuals, manufactures, resources, markets and history mentioned. Then I look at periodicals, generally 1850-1865, referencing the topic or a related topic. At the same time, I look for advertisements and brief mentions. During most of this process, I look at diaries, journals, letters and period literature for related references.
When researching a town, location or individual, I start with Federal and State census data. My next source is usually local or state gazetteers, local period writings, modern local histories. If I am looking at a specific person, I refer to their own writings. (see biases below)

Do you have preferred places/formats to look for information? What are they?
When starting a topic, I prefer digital formats over hard copy or microfilm because they are easily searched for terms. When I actually sit down to read and compile notes, I prefer hard copies of everything I have. This is because I am a fairly tactile person and flip back & forth a great deal.

Hard copy text - archives, repositories, diaries, letters, military records
I use each you have listed. I use archives and museum collections more often for topical research; diaries and letters more often for town/location/individual research. I use military records least often.

'Tangible objects' - anything dating from the period (civilian or military), antiques, places on the National Historic Register
Extant articles of clothing accessories and items of material culture are my most frequent reference point, followed by manufacturing and agricultural census records. I think examining original objects is a must.

Electronic sources - online forums, networking with other reenactors, websites, databases
Databases and web-based digital archives are a great asset to research. I often make use of books I would normally have to wait for through ILL if they were available to send at all. Online networking is nice for roadblocks or off focus topics I don’t know as much about.

Do you feel you are biased in your research? Why or why not? (having a relative is a more than acceptable answer!)
All research is biased based on human nature. My particular research is biased based on the topics I choose to focus on, the region the majority of my research comes from and the written period sources (such as diaries, letters & journals) representing only a portion of the population.

What research methods do you employ? In other words, what questions do you ask yourself when researching?
This varies for me with each topic. When looking at material culture, I look at what existed, the trend over time for that particular item, how it related to other items, impact it had on the micro and macro levels of society (and vice-versa), how a person used the item(s), cost, production methods, shipping (imports & exports), tariffs and geographic variation. When looking at a location or town for an event, I look at agriculture, manufacturing, businesses, population, demographics, geography, transportation, communication, individuals and news.

How do you select and prepare for your impressions?
For events we host, I usually spend most of my time researching the town or area (see above) and develop possible scenarios. I pick a person who catches my attention or a persona that fits the event well.
For those of you who have published books available for purchase to the general community (military or civilian), what is/was your motive in seeking to write these books and subsequently having them published?
I started writing an article that became to lengthy and became a booklet. The one I am currently on began as a follow-up article that became much to long.


Anna Worden

CSArefugee
12-01-2006, 01:37 PM
Background

1. Rank N/A
2. Unit (if applicable) SOCIETY OF CIVIL WAR SURGEONS, 66TH OVI, 1ST TENN CO B
3. Impression ( your own, or the core impression for your unit)
1. Civilian (type please)CIVILIAN-TYPE VARIES DEPENDING ON EVENT
2. Military (US/CSA, Inf/Art/Cal)
3. Do you have a first or third person impression? A combination of both? I LIKE FIRST PERSON, BUT WILL DO A COMBO OF BOTH
4. Do you galvanize? IF NEEDED
1. Often/Only when needed/Rarely, strongly prefer not to
5. How many events do you personally attend each season? How many does your unit attend (in terms of local, national, tacticals, living histories, NCO schools) I ATTENDED BETWEEN 6-10 A YEAR

Research Methods

1. Do you have preferred methods of research? What are they? BOOKS, LETTERS, DIARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS

2. Do you have preferred places/formats to look for information? What are they? LIBRARIES, MY OWN LIBRARY, THE INTERNET IF I KNOW IT IS A REPUTABLE SITE, TAGIBLE OBJECTS
1. Hard copy text - archives, repositories, diaries, letters, military records
2. 'Tangible objects' - anything dating from the period (civilian or military), antiques, places on the National Historic Register
3. Electronic sources - online forums, networking with other reenactors, websites, databases
3. Do you feel you are biased in your research? Why or why not? (having a relative is a more than acceptable answer!) NO, I KEEP AN OPEN MIND

4. What research methods do you employ? In other words, what questions do you ask yourself when researching? DEPENDS ON WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR

5. How do you select and prepare for your impressions? DEPENDS ON WHAT THE EVENT IS LOOKING FOR AND WHO I AM WITH. I CAN BE A LAUNDRESS AT ONE EVENT AND A MUTE REFUGEE AT ANOTHER
6. For those of you who have published books available for purchase to the general community (military or civilian), what is/was your motive in seeking to write these books and subsequently having them published? N/A

MargaretO'Grady
12-15-2006, 04:21 PM
To those who helped by providing feedback, thank you! After an additional presentation to the class (in period attire :D but only five minutes unfortunetely) , the grade awarded was an A-. Should I later decide to take the research methods course for the degree, the professor has recommended revisiting and expanding the paper topic. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!


Sincerely,
Meg