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Research for your Archaelogical Site Report

You professor would like you to write an archaeological site report. You will be looking for information to provide the below information.

  • name and location of the historic structure
  • its environmental context
  • period of construction
  • architectural style
  • basic architectural description including the size of structures and
  • any out building that may exist
  • information about the architect
  • purpose of the structure
  • information about the family for whom the house was built
  • a brief "living history of the building", who owned it? for what purpose? how was the house used?
  • period of demolition and brief discussion of what came post-demolition

Some of these questions will be answered through research, including scholarly secondary sources, archival, and other primary source material.  

From your assignment description:

You must utilize a minimum of 6 scholarly sources. These may be both primary sources that you have accessed through archival research, ancestry.com, and newspaper printings as well as peer-reviewed scholarly journals or books. Websites should be used sparingly and only when directly relevant to the Edgewater property or the family who lived here. Any websites used must be reputable such as Newport Historical Society, Newport Restoration Foundation, Preservation Society of Newport County, etc. Wikipedia and other online encyclopedia sources are not acceptable for this assignment.

Research strategies:

Collect names and dates: Keep a notebook by you as you search, and note important names and dates. Then, as you try your next search tool, try the names you found in your previous search. 

Try many different search tools: Different search tools lead to different sources. Try newspaper databases, scholarly article databases, book catalogs, archival search tools, and Google.

Allow sources to lead you to more sources: Keep an eye out for new leads: if one source notes a book, map, or archival document, find that source and read through it to see if it provides you with additional information.  In Google, not all of the sources you find may be credible or appropriate to use, but the sources they cite could have useful information.  

Above all, give in to the hunt, and allow yourself to fall down rabbit holes as you discover more information! This type of research can be exhilarating!

Some search tools and sources that may be useful for this project:

Genealogical Research

Ancestry.com: Access this research tool through the library to access its full functionality. You can sleuth information about people, places they lived, and their affiliations as well as get a picture of places by seeing who lived there.  

Scholarly Journals

Newport History: bulletin of the Newport Historical Society 

JSTOR: academic journals, and scholarly e-books, particularly strong in history and the humanities. 

Books

Books on Newport architecture in the library's catalog

Newport and Its Cottages by George Champlin Mason (page 67 is Edgewater-- this is page 216 in the online pagination)

Maps

Sanborn Maps

Newport Map Project: A collaborative effort between the Preservation Society of Newport County, the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, and Salve Regina University Archives and Special Collections, this website documents Newport's history cartographically. 

Historical Newspapers

Historical New York Times

America's Historical News: see video below to see how to search for Newport newspapers in this database. Look at the presentation titled "Historical Newspaper Research" to see more information about searching for historical news. 

 

 

Materials in the Archives

Goelet family papers: This collection includes financial records and correspondence related to Ogden Goelet and his family members, including his brother and his son, both named Robert. Much of the material relates to the family's real estate holdings in New York City and Ogden's Newport residence, Ochre Court.

Historical Newspaper Research

Director of Library Services

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Dawn Emsellem
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