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.
The 2019 King's College-Georgian Papers Fellow
King’s College and the Washington Library are proud to announce Dr. James Fisher as the second King's College-Georgian Papers Fellow. His research topic is titled, George Washington and the Transatlantic Circulation and Reception of Agricultural Literature and Knowledge. This project will use George Washington as a special case study of an eighteenth-century gentleman reader of British agricultural literature. Using Washington’s collections, it seeks to trace the flow of knowledge from published book, to notebook, to farm practice – then back again into written records and correspondence. It builds directly on my recently completed thesis: a systematic study and reinterpretation of British agricultural literature over the long eighteenth century. His research draws attention to the processing of codifying knowledge into books, the tensions between theory and practice, and the social dimension of how knowledge was distributed with respect to the division of labour. The aim is to contribute to our understanding of the problems arising from the transplantation of British agricultural knowledge to the American soil, climate and economy (e.g. from managing wage labour to slave labour); attitudes towards the expertise of British agricultural authors in comparison with alternative sources of knowledge; and the intellectual practices of the gentleman ‘book-farmer’ on both sides of the Atlantic.
The 2018 Mount Vernon-Georgian Papers Fellow
King’s College and the Washington Library are proud to announce Dr. Zara Anishanslin as the third Mount Vernon-Georgian Papers Fellow. Anishanslin will research her next book, Revolutionary Things: Material Culture and the American Revolution, 1763-1788. Revolutionary Things narrates the history of how supporters of the American cause—on both sides of the Atlantic—used material and visual culture to organize protest, incite rebellion, wage war, and build a nation. Following the evidentiary trail of objects and images, and drawing upon fields of military, art, political, women’s, and cultural history, this interdisciplinary work ranges from the streets of colonial Boston to the court of King George III, and from bloody battlefields to George and Martha Washington’s bedroom at Mount Vernon. At Mount Vernon and the Washington Library, Anishanslin will be researching wartime material culture related to the Continental Army, to George and Martha Washington and Washington’s enslaved valet, William Lee, and postwar objects, including commemorative prints and portraits by pro-American English painter Robert Edge Pine. While at the Royal Archives and King’s College, she will examine archives, art, and material culture related to King George III and Queen Charlotte, as well as a number of American patriots who were temporary Londoners, including poet Phyllis Wheatley, painter-soldier Prince Demah Barnes, sculptor Patience Wright, and prisoner in the Tower of London Henry Laurens. Anishanslin uses objects to cast new light on familiar events and narrate the histories of people—women and men, enslaved and free, patriot and loyalist, European and American—who made and encountered revolutionary things.
The 2018 King's College-Georgian Papers Fellow
King’s College and the Washington Library are proud to announce Dr. Jane Levi as the first King's College-Georgian Papers Fellow. Her research topic is titled, Food & Family Values: From Farm to Table in the Georges’ Households, 1760-1820. This project will compare the food produced, cooked, served, and consumed in the households of George Washington and King George III (as well as his son, the notorious gourmand Prince Regent). Using supply records from the kitchens, gardens and farm estates, menu books, personal papers, and other evidence in both archives, it will build a picture of each household economy and the social distinctions revealed in the food served to family, friends, servants, and slaves. By building a detailed comparative picture of public and private food habits and attitudes in these leading households on both sides of the Atlantic, the research will embellish understanding of the similarities and differences between the old and new worlds, their culture and society in the Georgian period.
The 2017 Mount Vernon-Georgian Papers Fellow
King’s College and the Washington Library are proud to announce Flora Fraser as the second Mount Vernon-Georgian Papers Fellow. At Windsor Castle, Flora will use the Cumberland and Stuart Papers to piece together the narrative of Flora Macdonald, who secured Charles Edward Stuart safe passage to Skye in 1746 and who subsequently emigrated to North Carolina. Flora will also use the resources at the Washington Library to examine Washington’s gradual shaping of American prisons and his edicts regarding loyalist civilians. This research will go towards her book project In Search of Flora Macdonald (1722-1790): Her Life in Skye and the Western Isles and, as a Highland Emigrant, during the American Revolution. Flora will also use resources at Windsor and the Washington Library to explore the career of Horatio Nelson for her other book project Lord Nelson of Burnham Thorpe, the Nile and Trafalgar: The Life on Land and at Sea of Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758-1805).
The 2016 Mount Vernon-Georgian Papers Fellow
King's College and the Washington Library are proud to announce Dr. Bruce Ragsdale as the first Mount Vernon-Georgian Papers Fellow. He is working on a book project entitled George Washington at the Plow and used the fellowship to research connections between the agricultural improvement projects of George Washington and those of George III. He also explored 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.