The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 336
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
suited in the acquisition of much information about the records
in European archives as well as large collections of transcripts.
As Dr. Hill points out:
New York was the first state which actively undertook the securing
of handwritten transcripts from European archives. Provision for the
undertaking was made by an act of the State Legislature passed on
May 2, 1839. By this act, the copies of documents "relating to or
affecting the colonial or other history of New York" could be secured.
On January 15, 1841, John Romyn Brodhead was appointed to carry
out the mission. He was a graduate of Rutgers College and had served
in the American Legation in Holland. His instructions, given by
Governor William H. Seward, gave him much discretion in carrying
on the work in Holland, England, and France. He spent three years
in the task and received a yearly salary of $2,ooo and expenses of
travel. As a result of his investigations, he selected and copied thou-
sands of documents in the principal archives of Holland, England,
and France. These copies formed eighty volumes which were deposited
in the New Yory State Library. Later they were published by the
Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Virginia suc-
cessively carried on similar enterprises.
With the coming of the twentieth century more planning and
more funds were devoted to projects for obtaining material on
American history from European archives, particularly by the
newly established Carnegie Institution of Washington. Dr. J. F.
Jameson, who for the period of 1905-1928 ably directed its De-
partment of Historical Research, described what he considered
the proper functions of his department to be in these words:
The normal processes of historical work would commonly be said
to be four: The finding of the original materials, printed or unprinted;
the putting of them into accessible and well-edited print, if they have
not already that form; next the production of monographs; and, finally,
the composition of general histories. Unless under circumstances quite
exceptional, the last two processes are better left to the free action of
individual scholars. Given the materials, they will produce mono-
graphs and histories in the future, as they have in the past, and of a
better flavor than those which might be turned out by an organized
institution. In the main, it must be the proper function of an organized
and permanent institution, disposing of ampler resources than most
individual historians can command, to carry on the primary, funda-
mental, and costly tasks of finding the materials or guiding men to
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/362/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.