Ohio History Journal

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in Europe, and we are becoming politically alive in every direction, that

there exists as never before the possibility of cultivating such a higher

form of political science and history. This new political science will not

aim primarily at dictating political decisions but prepare the ground for

such decisions; it will reveal and illuminate combinations in the realm of

politics and history which hitherto have been scarcely noticed. It will

undertake for example investigations of the following sort:  If anyone

wants this or that, then he will think thus and so at a particular point in

the historical situation, then he will see the entire political process in this

or in that way. But the fact that he wants this or that, depends on these

or those traditions, and these and those traditions are dependent on such

and such positions in the structure of society. Only he who approaches

political and historical problems in this spirit will ever arrive at a relatively

comprehensive grasp of totality. Such a political science and such a history

will acquire a new vitality, a new meaning, and a new usefulness.

Dinner and Evening Sessions

A subscription dinner for members of both organizations

representing the conference and their friends occurred at the

Faculty Club of Ohio State University at 6 P. M. About fifty

were present.    Mr. Robert Price, of the Department of English

of Ohio State University, addressed the group on "Johnny Ap-

pleseed--the Myth and the Man." This address was very much

appreciated by all present.



An address delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Ohio State Archaeo-

logical and Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio, April 1, 1938,

8:15 P. M., University Hall


We are all of us, I take it, interested in history from one viewpoint or

another; otherwise we should not be gathered here this evening. Relying

on that interest, I propose to ask your attention to some matters con-

cerned with basic sources of historical material.

If I read aright the trends of historical study, I should say that the

most important thing to the historian of today is access to original, con-

temporaneous sources of information. At an earlier time, the writers of

history used to depend upon so-called "authorities"--upon men who had

written books which had come to be regarded as standard works on one

subject or another--and each writer thereafter would quote such an author-

ity with a sense of finality. But the modern historian is disposed to dis-

count almost all histories written after the fact and to insist upon relating

all statements back to contemporaneous evidence--evidence which has not

passed through all the changes through which so many statements go when

they are filtered through memory and through rewriting and restatement.

And contemporaneous evidence is not only more accurate and hence more

important to the historian; it is also more vivid.

I am not primarily a historian. My interest in history began in be-

coming interested in the history of my own profession, which is printing.

From that as a starting point, I have become interested in history in gen-