While I’ve got a number of projects that are ongoing, ranging from my work on the history of Cole’s Cavalry to history publications about my home county, I’m pleased to say that I’m also going to be busying myself with another project this summer. About a month ago, I signed-on to write five entries for the online Encyclopedia Virginia.
Sure, I could write about some of these same topics, here, in my blog, but, landing some articles in EV is a fabulous opportunity to contribute to a project that has such reach and credibility as a resource on the Web (as opposed to the problematic issue on credibility in many Wikipedia entries… although I have contributed entries there, as well), and it is, of course, Virginia-focused. I also like that the project allows ventures into topics that might not be found in older Virginia-centric encyclopedias you would find in hard copy… topics that may have been considered outside the standard that was found acceptable, for a number of reasons, in the late 19th or early 20th centuries (would you, for example, find an entry in the older state-focused encyclopedias that puts Loudoun Rangers commander, Samuel C. Means, in a positive light?). In fact, EV encourages contributors NOT to shy away from controversy, debate, and unanswered questions.
So, my topics for development over the next two months are as follows:
The Loudoun Rangers (Virginia’s most famous Unionist military organization, of course…)
Cornelia Jane Mathews Jordan (Lynchburg native, Luray resident, and, through her poetry, one of the greatest memorialists of the Lost Cause)
Bethany Veney (From Shenandoah Valley slave to New England free person… the only former slave from the Shenandoah Valley with a full autobiography detailing her days as such)
Page County, Virginia in the Civil War (self-explanatory, but a topic that I’ve been writing about for over 25 years)
Southern Unionism in the Shenandoah Valley (this is going to take some legwork; lots of good stuff to work with, and may form something larger on my agenda in the future)
Needless to say, I’m psyched!