Founded in 1783, the Society of the Cincinnati is a patriotic group with branches in America and France. Dedicated to preserve the fellowship between Revolutionary officers, original members include George Washington, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, Alexander Hamilton, and Marquis de Lafayette. Intrigued by this organization, we decided to work with the Society in creating a digital repository.
For our project, we created a digital repository in CONTENTdm of archival materials located in the Society of the Cincinnati. Specifically, we worked on materials related to Pierre L’Enfant, including correspondence, reports, and receipts related to his work for the Society. The Pierre L’Enfant materials belong to the Series 2, Correspondence, Subseries 2: Pierre Charles L’Enfant 1783-1793 (Box 11) of the Society's archives. While there is a finding aid available online, many of these materials have not been digitized and made available to researchers.
The purpose of this project is to build a digital collection of materials from the Society of the Cincinnati Library. The collection reflects a small, concentrated view on matters relating to early years of the Society of the Cincinnati, specifically Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s interactions with Society members. Materials in the collection include books, historical manuscripts, and illustrations. These materials are understood to be valuable sources of information about the formation of the Society.
The main purpose of building a collection of digitized materials is to increase access to these valuable materials by making them fully available online. Descriptive metadata furthers accessibility, as users can search through the collection, and filter results to their needs. By creating a digital collection and mounting it online, we aim to contribute to the mission of access as well as the long term goal of preservation of the materials contained in it. Lastly, we hope to further the Society’s mission in preserving and promoting public interest in the American Revolution.