Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943

Uncommon Sense

The following is from the Uncommon Sense archives. It first appeared in the Fall 2004 issue, no. 119.


In at least its third decade, the Institute’s Editorial Apprenticeship Program continues to find graduate students in history willing to be immersed in the arcana of scholarly editing at the Arcadia thereof. Each spring, the Institute conspires with the Department of History of the College to sift through hundreds of applications to lure these fine souls to Williamsburg to be graduate students and editorial apprentices. The superb cohort this year includes Diana Bell, who graduated from Davidson College; Liam Paskvan, from James Madison University; Margaret Tilley, from Grove City College; and Jason Zieger, from Carleton College. They have now gone through the summer training and are deep into proofreading, checking sources, copy editing, and all sorts of other chores that make our books and the Quarterly a standard by which history should be judged. We think what they acquire will enhance their careers as editors or teachers or citizens of the world.

Leaving us, sort of, are last year’s apprentices. William Sullivan is staying on for the doctoral program, and at least a semester with us as an editing intern, who pursues an advanced editing project and acquires deeper experience. Also staying for the doctoral program are Nancy Moll and Caroline Morris. Kristen Epps has returned to Dodge City, Kansas, or thereabouts, to finish her thesis before engaging with doctoral work.

The Colonial Dames of America Annual Fellowship

Since 1996, the Colonial Dames of America has funded an annual Fellowship in Historical Editing to be awarded to an accomplished apprentice in recognition of his or her contribution to the William and Mary Quarterly and the book program. Given as a summer stipend, the fellowship makes it possible for the recipient to continue developing his or her editorial skills while moving our book and journal programs forward. The fellow is chosen from among the previous year’s editorial apprenti, but this year we were stumped, with two equally qualified and talented candidates. So we decided to honor both of them and split the award between Nancy Moll and Bill Sullivan. Each took charge of the early stage of a book project and did outstanding editorial work. We extend to both of them our congratulations on receiving the fellowship and our thanks for a summer well spent.

Gil Kelly,
Managing Editor, Office of Publications