Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two more tempting books

Published just in time for the National Genealogical Society's gathering earlier this month in Cincinnati is Indiana by Dawne Slater-Putt. It's part of the NGS Research in the States Series. (Actually, it's so new it's not in NGS's on-line store yet.) It starts with accounts of early Indiana history and settlement and account of major archives, libraries and societies. The bulk of the book describes the following two dozen types of resources:

Aids to Research
Atlases, Gazetteers, and Maps
Biographical Sources
Business and Occupational Records
Cemetery Records
Censuses and Census Substitutes
Church Records
Court Records
Ethnic Groups and Records
Genealogical and Historical Periodicals
Institutional and Prison Records
Internal Improvements
Land Records
Military Records
Naturalization and Immigration
Probate Records
School Records
Tax Records
Vital Records
Voter and Election Records

I bought this book at NGS, have already read it from cover to cover, and look forward to referring to it often in the future. It will be available in either hard copy or PDF. I can imagine a few minor improvements for later editions, but I can't imagine having written such a comprehensive book myself.

Reviewed in the online magazine of early American history, Common-Place: David Jaffee's A New Nation of Goods, focusing on pre-Civil-War rural northeast and New England. Emory University historian Jonathan Prude writes,

Jaffee combines the specialized expertise of an antiquarian with the more capacious concerns of an historian. Thus, heeding antiquarian impulses, he recounts precisely how clocks, tables, and chairs were fabricated; he provides biographies of many who did the fabricating; and he traces the provenance of a good number of the resulting artifacts.
"Antiquarian" is rarely a term of praise among historians. But given my microhistorical and genealogical interests, that word puts this book pretty high up on my want list.

Dawne Slater-Putt, Indiana (Arlington VA: National Genealogical Society, 2012).

David Jaffee, A New Nation of Goods: The Material Culture of Early America  (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010).

Harold Henderson, "More tempting books," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 14 May 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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