Today, I did research at the Connecticut State Library, finished my work around noon, and then made my way to New Haven to look at the Jonathan Edwards Papers at Yale's Beinecke Library. I am absolutely exhausted.
The Connecticut State Library has basically all their records (marriages, births, churches, and estates) on microfilm. It cost me about twenty dollars in copying fees before I figured out that I could scan the images to a pdf file and save them to a flash drive for free. Lesson learned. That is the trick to researching at various archives. Once you figure out the system, it is much easier if and when you return. But the first visit can sometimes cost you lots of time and money.
I have been to Yale's Beinecke Library (a very cool building--see the images at the top right (inside) and bottom left (outside)) four times now, and almost have the system down. I noticed, however, that Yale has relaxed many of its policies regarding manuscripts, allowing patrons to take digital images freely and without even a marker that identifies the Beinecke Library (although you do check off on an electronic website that you agree to abide by the policies of the library and ethical behavior). Also, I noticed during this visit that patrons order all their materials online--that is a new system from the last time I was here when I filled out a paper slip for each order. All-in-all it has been a good day. I collected hundreds of digital images of manuscripts and hope that there is a lot of material in these that will aid future publication projects.
Tomorrow, I will head back to Yale where I will have lunch with Ken Minkema and then make my way to Foxborough, Massachusetts where I will spend the night. On Friday, I plan on getting up bright and early to make my way to the Massachusetts State Archives for one final day of research. After that I hope to relax, eat some Legal Seafood, and check into my hotel in downtown Boston.