Brickyards and Frameworks: A Retrospectus and Prospectus on Vermont History Writing

Author(s): Michael Sherman

Year: 2003


Just over two decades ago, Tom Bassett did what I have been asked to do for this symposium: to take a reading on what has been accomplished in Vermont history and assess future needs and directions. He had just completed the work of compiling a bibliography of Vermont history, volume four of the Bibliographies of New England History, a series that continues to this day. It is a surprisingly thick volume: 293 pages, double column, folio size, that includes 6,413 entries. One of the thickest volumes in the series, it took its publishers by surprise—they anticipated 3,000 entries—and created new challenges for those responsible for raising the funds to publish it. As Samuel B. Hand noted in his memorial essay for Bassett published in Vermont History, that did not concern Tom himself in the least. His job, as he saw it, was simply to be comprehensive. Having completed the task of assembling such a large list of writing about Vermont history, Bassett wrote an eloquent foreword that says a lot about what he discovered and what he concluded about the state of Vermont historiography. Much of what he had to say twenty-one years ago remains relevant to what I can say on this topic today.

Cite this Record

Brickyards and Frameworks: A Retrospectus and Prospectus on Vermont History Writing. Michael Sherman. Vermont History. 71: 11-45. 2003 ( tDAR id: 391806) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8VH5R1X

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min long: -73.394; min lat: 42.715 ; max long: -71.592; max lat: 45.089 ;

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Sponsor(s): Vermont Historical Society

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