Topic Files:

The topic files created by ecpclio were begun as databases in dbase in the 1990s.  They are being added to this mediawiki (Baltimore History) as ecp works through his research files and as research questions are directed his way.  The original databases are/will be available as spreadsheets on ecp's google drive and can be shared out to resistered contributors to this wiki.

In attempting to use this wiki as a portal to half a century of research notes and writing, an effort is being made to incorporate collaborative research web sites that were instituted at the Maryland State Archives, but are now in the process of being abandoned.  An example is the research that was undertaken to determine the ownership of the Potomac River and the contstitutional/legal basis for Maryland's claim to regulating the use of  the water of the Potomac.  Maryland lost its case before the Supreme Court, largely because the Master in Chancery to whom the case had been referred completely mis-interpreted the Mount Vernon Compact, which  in ecp's opinion, only related to the waters below Great Falls, and not above.  For ecp's efforts to retrieve and make more  accessible his work on the legal battle over the waters of the Potomac were created on a domain and website that no longer exists.  It was taken down after he retired as State Archivist.,   The issue of using domain names to manage research projects is a thorny one which, sadly, is not widely accepted among those who will need to rely heavily on the virtual world for their research and writing.  The concept of utilizing as  the portal to a secure (during the time leading up to the legal resolution of the reason for its creation, was only partially successful.  The lawyers who need the research results were not keen on using it, largely because of a lack of training and the awkwardness of the then available tools/means for accessing and working with the site.  The IPAD, the tablet, etc. have changed all that, as has the wikipedia model that is utilized here.   The lawyers  also feared that the site might be hacked , a not unreasonable concern.  Still, a safe and secure collaborative platform for research and writing is the sine qua non of the future of historical writing and argument.  It is too bad that the institutions harboring the records are not the ones offering the platforms for historical investigation, for they should be the permanent repositories for the results that do not need to remain secure and secret forever.

As to topic files on this server, they reflect my eclectic interests in topics and generally are created for essays that appear in my blogs.  For example I have been tracing the lives of Black women from Baltimore who were sold South before the Civil War as part of the domestic slave trade from Baltimore.  The catalog of my paper files relating to the Domestic Slave Trade is found in the topic entry Domestic and Transatlantic Slave Trade, while the biographies of the women transported, to the degree that anything can be found will be located under their names as individual biographcial entries.

For those granted permission to particpate in this project as a means of enhancing the usefulness of the topic, place, and biographical files, all requests to participate should be directed 

[revised: 2019/02/20]

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