Sunday, June 24, 2012

New at Midwest Roots and LibraryThing: Baptists, travel, and the worst of the 20th century

Last week I picked up an interesting resource for 20th-century research at Samford University library's perpetual used-book sale: the 1949 and 1950 student directories for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Free lookups in these or my other 15 miscellaneous mostly Midwestern sources here.

Also new on my booklist at LibraryThing: Travel Accounts of Indiana, 1679-1961. So far my favorite quote comes from a Dunker Baptist head of household between La Porte and Michigan City. In 1836 he found a carriageful of travelers at his door, stranded by a flood and washed-out bridge, and greeted them cheerfully, saying: "You know you would not have staid with me, if you could have helped it; and I would not have had you, if I could have helped it; so no more words about it; but let us make ourselves comfortable." (p. 161) You just don't hear that frank talk from motels these days.

The most recent book on that booklist that I actually read straight through was Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands -- almost unendurable, but very important to tell because most published sources on World War II had access only to the Soviet or Nazi archives, not both. The total tale of the multiple deliberate mass murders in that stretch of country between Russia and Germany (including the Holocaust itself) is one of the worst stories in human history, and of course many Americans have ancestors and relatives who died there or who narrowly escaped by timely emigration earlier in the 20th century.

Directory 1949 and Directory 1950 (Louisville KY: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2825 Lexington Road).

Harriet Martineau, [June 19, 1836], in Shirley S. McCord, comp., Travel Accounts of Indiana, 1679-1961: A Collection of Observations by Wayfaring Foreigners, Itinerants, and Peripatetic Hoosiers (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1970), Indiana Historical Collections, Vol. 47. "Her comments are in Michigan History Magazine, 7 (1923):61-72, from the original Society in America (3 vols., London, 1837)."

Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (New York: Basic Books, 2010).

Harold Henderson, "New at Midwest Roots and LibraryThing: Baptists, travel, and the worst of the 20th century," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 24 June 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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