Written by: Gretchen Pressley
A doctoral student in the Department of History at Texas Tech recently won one of
14 short-term residential research fellowships awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Institute
of American History in New York.
Valerie McKito, the first fellowship winner from Texas Tech, will spend the month
of July 2007 at the institute, where she will use its extensive library and research
collection to study historical documents relating to her dissertation work.
“The Gilder Fellowship is very prestigious but is not well known here,” McKito said.
“There are a number of exciting things about this fellowship. The level of access
to the collections I get is phenomenal. They will enable me to get a large amount
of research done in one place.”
McKito’s dissertation is called In the Shadow of Victory: Loyalists in the aftermath
of the Revolution. She is studying the influence of Loyalists who left America after
the Revolutionary War, went to various countries within the British Empire, and then
returned to the United States, rising to prominence in their communities.
“It’s a topic in history that hasn’t really been explored,” McKito said. “Upon their
return, these men really weren’t seen as Loyalists. It’s a very different take on
the creation of America.”
According to the institute’s Web site, McKito will have access to the Gilder Lehrman
Collection, containing more than 60,000 documents detailing the political and social
history of the United States. The collection's holdings include manuscript letters,
diaries, maps, photographs, printed books and pamphlets ranging from 1493 through
modern times. Fellowship stipends range from $1,500 to $4,000.
For more information, visit www.gilderlehrman.org/historians/scholar2.html
CONTACT: Valerie McKito, doctoral student in the Department of History, (806) 742-1004