Posted on 14 August 2017
A Conservation Studies PhD student from the Department of Archaeology recently completed a 1-month residential fellowship with the Fred W. Smith Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, Virginia, USA.
Aimée Keithan’s research explores the transportation and transformation of domestic service culture in 18th and 19th century British and American country houses. Her research advocates using buildings archaeology as a primary resource to better understand the lives of a largely under-documented country house population.
The Washington Library opened in 2013 with a mission to expand education of the life and impact of George Washington, America’s Founding Fathers, and all aspects of 18th century American life. Fellowships include unprecedented access to primary source materials and research support. Along with using the library’s archival material, Aimée met with members of Mount Vernon’s Historic Preservation, Archaeology, and Architectural History departments to gather material for her dissertation. Site visits to Mount Vernon’s historic area provided the opportunity for physical examination of the buildings and wider plantation landscape.
‘It was an amazing experience,’ Aimée said. ‘The fellowship is designed for in-depth research with all Mount Vernon’s significant resources readily available. It was the most productive part of my PhD research to date.’
Find out more about the Washington Library and fellowships here: http://www.mountvernon.org/library/