Dear MA and PhD Students,
Here is some more information on the Buckland farm internship opportunity I wrote you about earlier today. <>.

Mack Holt

David Blake just forwarded me your recent correspondence regarding GMU interns for the Buckland Preservation Society.  I look forward to getting George Mason students involved in the research and I would be glad to supervise the students' work as interns with us.

I agree that we should aim for spring 2010 semester internships, to give those students interested a chance to sign up and arrange their schedules.  With regard to format, we can be quite flexible on our end.  The availability of research topics and preservation assistance at Buckland means that we are not really limited to taking on a set number of students.    If there are several students who express interest for the spring semester, we will try to arrange some group meetings, especially at the beginning and end of the semester.  I expect that before or at the beginning of the semester we will start with a presentation and orientation on-site, and give the students an opportunity to select their specific project from a few key topics.  If it is acceptable to GMU, we will encourage some group work, especially if groups of students need to carpool to libraries, courthouses, and archives.  Supervision will consist of occasional meetings or trips to libraries, guidance by e-mail about topics, and evaluation of the students' completed research.  Most of the interns' time will be spent doing independent primary and secondary source research and/or transcribing and studying sources we have already retrieved (depending on each student's ability to visit repositories).

Two areas we would like to have the interns research are a) documents pertaining to the African-American residents of Buckland, both enslaved and free; and b) records relating to businesses (mills, distillery, tannery, stores) in Buckland and their trade with other regional towns and cities, especially the port cities of the Potomac.  These areas are broad and interrelated, and should allow students to select specific topics and categories of primary sources that interest them.  Additionally, pertinent sources for these topics will be available locally in Fairfax, Alexandria, Prince William, Loudoun and/or Fauquier, and thus not require extensive travel on the part of the interns.  Interns will also have an opportunity to work with the African-American Historical Association (AAHA) of Fauquier County, leaders and partners in this research.

There are not currently active archaeological excavations going on at Buckland, but when they are, such digs will offer further internship opportunities, whether in the Spring 2010 semester or later.

The ultimate goal is to have the interns collaborate and contribute to ongoing historical research for the purpose of public history and preservation.  To this end, the focus might be summarized as "Methods in Public History - Buckland, Virginia."  We will work with the AAHA to determine more specific details within this broader goal.  These might include publishing results or sources online in a blog or exhibit, and a culminating synthesis of each intern's work into a group report.  This report will illuminate local and regional history, demonstrate the ability to obtain, contextualize, and interpret primary sources, inform current public policy on a significant historic district, and advocate for future preservation and education grants.

Please let me know whether or not these suggestions sound acceptable.  From there, students can begin registering, and we will correspond with each to determine a manageable project for their internship that addresses their academic interests and the framework described above.

Stephen Fonzo

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Platt [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2009 08:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]

Mack P. Holt
Professor of History, Director of MA Program
Dept. of History and Art History
Mail Stop 3G1
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22020-4444

Tel.: (703)-993-1259
Fax: (703)-993-1251
Email: [log in to unmask]