Southward, Ho!: Mapping the Archival South

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Southward, Ho!: Mapping the Archival South

by David Moltke-Hansen
Southern Cultures, Inaugural Issue: 1993

"Despite the vision and commitment behind them, these initial efforts were too meagerly funded to go far toward solving a critical problem of southern studies: the scarcity of accessible original sources, print as well as manuscript."

In 1901, Alabama created the first state archives in the United States, followed quickly by many other southern states. Despite the vision and commitment behind them, these initial efforts were too meagerly funded to go far toward solving a critical problem of southern studies: the scarcity of accessible original sources, print as well as manuscript. Thirty years later, after the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia, and Duke University had launched what would become three of the largest, sustained programs for collecting the private papers of southerners, this scarcity remained a major stumbling block to research on the South.