The Washington Library is extending its reach through a new academic partnership with King's College London to establish a scholarly exchange for a five-year period to support the Georgian Papers Programme. Mount Vernon's participation is funded through the generous support of the Amanda and Greg Gregory Family Fund.
Each year a Washington Library scholar will be named to a three-month fellowship (one month at Mount Vernon and two months in London/Windsor). Reciprocally a scholar from King's College London will be chosen. Each scholar will research areas of mutual interest in late-18th century history and sympathetic subjects.
The Georgian Papers Programme
On April 1, 2015 the Georgian Papers Programme was launched at Windsor Castle in the presence of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. This initiative will digitize, disseminate, study, and interpret an extraordinarily rich collection, including correspondence, maps, and royal household ledgers. This is a collaboration between King's College London and the Royal Collection Trust, a charitable arm of the Royal Household - chaired by the Prince of Wales - responsible for the royal family's most significant properties and artifacts. Making this vast collection available to scholars the world over, this project will transform historical research and understanding of the Georgian period and its global impact.
The Programme is part of a wider and long-term initiative by the Royal Household to expand access to primary source material. The intention is to create a rich internet resource open to academics and the public, allowing documents to be searched and analyzed in creative ways.
King's College London
Established in 1829 with King George IV as patron, King's was one of two founding colleges of the University of London. King's has an historic association with the Georgian Archives which began when a collection of scientific instruments accumulated by King George III and others was donated by Queen Victoria in 1841. The university converted a library into the George III Museum in the King's Building at the Strand, which was opened in 1843 by Albert, Prince Consort and husband of Queen Victoria.
King's and the Library are proud to announce Dr. Bruce Ragsdale as the first Mount Vernon Georgian Papers Fellow. He is currently working on a book project entitled George Washington at the Plow and will be using the fellowship to research connections between the agricultural improvement projects of George Washington and those of George III. He will also further explore the British models that inspired Washington's reorganization of farming at Mount Vernon. Dr. Ragsdale has served as director of the Federal Judicial History Office at the Federal Judicial Center and as associate historian of the U.S. House of Representatives. He is author of several works on Washington’s agricultural and commercial enterprises and on the revolutionary era in Virginia. Dr. Ragsdale was a member of the Library's inaugural class of fellows.