His legacy: Our ‘disproportionate share’ of Southern history

[James] Leloudis added that Powell’s collection of writings has been so valuable toward historical literature that North Carolina tends to be ‘over-represented,’ in part due to Powell’s work.”

— From “NC historian William S. Powell dies at 95” in the News & Observer (April 11)

Dr. Leloudis’s comment about the distorting effect of Bill Powell’s prodigious output piqued my curiosity. Is such “overrepresentation” a bad thing? Certainly, other states thought so when they protested the manuscript forays of J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton (and dubbed him “Ransack”).

“It’s a good thing,” Dr. Leloudis clarifies. “My point — which the reporter didn’t quite get — was that the North Carolina Collection is in a class by itself, and that the depth and comprehensive character of the holdings make it a particularly fruitful site for research. No wonder, then, that a disproportionate share of the historical scholarship on the South has a North Carolina focus.”

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.