Bibliography Take 1

As I’ve started to narrow my topic, I’m starting to realize that most of my sources are going to have to come from oral histories or primary documents. Since I would like to shift my focus to fraternal organizations local to Williamsburg (since I’ve found several), there are very few sources available online or in books that would benefit my project. However, I’m still including sources about national fraternal and service organizations in order to provide context and a comparison to these smaller local organizations.

One of my questions for my project was to compare the number of various organizations in Williamsburg as opposed to places known as retirement communities. The Knights of Columbus website has a handy tool that shows in what cities they have councils. I’ve already taken a look at a couple of key retirement communities and found out that there are five councils in Naples, Florida and three in or around Sun City, Arizona. These numbers compare to just one in Williamsburg. Other organizations will hopefully have similar tools on their websites for comparison purposes.

The Masons are one of the fraternal organizations in Williamsburg as well as one of the oldest in the country. Their website includes an extensive history of the club in Williamsburg which can provide background information about this prestigious organization. The old home page (which is the first thing to come up off of Google) gives meeting times and contact information which will be helpful for contacting oral history subjects if need be.

The Pulaski Club, a group of 31 Williamsburg men who talk on the benches outside of Bruton Parish on Thursdays, is one of the local clubs I would like to focus on the most. Though their website does not offer that much information, it does give some very basic details that I can use as starter topics for my oral histories. There is also an article published in the 1990s that will also give some information and anecdotes that I can use as background knowledge.

Charles, Jeffrey A.  Service Clubs in American Society. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.

This book, which covers the Rotary Club, the Kiwanis, and the Lions Club, will give me some basic background of how these groups were formed and what their missions are. Though I have not looked at this book extensively yet, I’m hoping that it gives some idea of demographics over the years that can provide some insight on how active retired people are in this types of clubs and the differences between members and non-members. Though it may not provide this type of information, it will like the Pulaski Club website, provide good background information

When looking through the Digital Archive,I found some oral histories with people that I know were members of multiple organizations such as Willard Gilley and Billy Scruggs Jr. I plan to listen to these oral histories to get a background of these prominent members of the community as well as ideas for new interview question, since I plan to use them as contacts for future oral histories.

In terms of other resources, there is a binder of local clubs and organizations at the Williamsburg Public Library that I plan to use to get basic information about local clubs such as the Pulaski Club and the Middle Plantation Club. This collection of documents will help to shed some light on how these organizations were formed and what they are doing in the community today which will help create questions to ask in oral histories. Also, the Special Collections at Swem has old documents for the Pulaski Club, the Middle Plantation Club, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and other organizations that can give me ideas for contacts and also provide background information and history that can help shape my project further.

Hopefully I’ll find more sources as I go on. I am still looking for some basic information about how activities help shape retirement and create a more positive experience, as there seems to be a lot of books on the subject. This information can help me understand what role clubs and activities have in a retiree’s life and may help create some ideas on their function in Williamsburg and why people choose to move here.

2 Responses to “Bibliography Take 1”

  1. 1 dcpratt February 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Definitely a solid start! As you read and research further, your research question should help guide you to secondary sources that will frame and give context to the primary sources you have found, and will find, specific to Williamsburg.

  2. 2 sgglos February 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    You already have some terrific primary sources, and as you pointed out these will be central to your project; but don’t give up on finding secondary materials. Use your WorldCat skills and see what you can find. Search the Keyword listings for phrases that relate to these types of organizations. Let us know if we can help. Great start!

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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