I have spent most of my sabbatical time at home working on the editing process to finalize a manuscript that’s been underway for many years. I had the opportunity in January and February to engage in research in Washington DC that helped to finalize many details of this big project, but also lay the foundation for new work to come. Fellowships from the US Capitol Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institution supported my work in the Archives of the Architect of the Capitol, the Library of Congress, National Archives, and the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. The latter is a relatively small place tucked into the Museum of American History. Its staff of two were incredibly helpful in serving up piles of resources from the nineteenth century. My main focus there was the history of the architecture and engineering professions, but it’s hard not to get sidetracked by illustrations of brick machines.
In January I will relocate to Washington, DC for a few months to narrow my focus on Walter-related research, starting a new project on the Capitol dome. I’m very excited to have recently received news that my application to the Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program was approved! I’m grateful for this support from the Smithsonian, which will add to the support awarded earlier by the US Capitol Historical Society for the same project.