Brad & Lin’s Excellent Adventure

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Future, as stands at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Photo by Brad Galka

“What is past is prologue.”  – William Shakespeare

Located on the northeast corner of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., sits the sculpture, “Future,” with Shakespeare’s words inscribed on its foundation. This fall, Chapman Center for Rural Studies (CCRS) Editorial Assistant, Brad Galka, and CCRS Intern, Bo Lin, worked together to plan a research trip to the Archives and other resources in the Capitol. While there, Brad took the photo of “Future” at right.

It is unusual for a graduate student to collaborate on a research trip with an undergraduate student, but the Chapman Center has a history of fostering cooperative work as illustrated in the “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills.”

Brad Galka in front of the White House. Photo by Bo Lin.

Brad Galka in front of the White House. Photo by Bo Lin.

Though Brad and Lin researched separate topics, they learned both needed to access information found only in the physical National Archives and – in Lin’s case – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. While discussing their respective projects around the Chapman Center library table, they discovered each needed to travel to Washington, D.C. and decided to travel together. By joining forces, they ensured reliable traveling companionship and a colleague on-site to help strategize research, transportation, and dinner!

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Bo Lin in front of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Brad continues to refine his master’s thesis regarding fascism in America between World War I and World War II. Lin was finishing his discovery of primary sources concerning Carmelite priests who once lived in Scipio, Kansas.

Lin found three volumes of books which helped to flesh out the Carmelite history in Scipio, Kansas. “They included other versions of the story and were really helpful!” said Lin.

While Lin scoured the Carmelite archives, Brad dove into the National Archives looking for Congressional transcripts of testimonies from key public figures of the period between the Great Wars. Unlike Lin, Brad learned much of the primary texts he was hunting are not available. This has caused Brad to pivot towards new means of finding information to support his master’s thesis.

Though they enjoyed the good company of their shared fall research trip, both Lin and Brad recommend planning further than one month in advance to save expenses and avoid the challenges of arranging “last minute” research itineraries.

Chapman Center researchers are known to go to great lengths to find sources and verify their research. We trust the work Brad and Lin accomplished this fall semester will certainly serve as prologue to solid careers in History and the Humanities.

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Library of Congress, Photo by Brad Galka

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Arlington Cemetery, Thanksgiving morning 2016. Photo by Brad Galka