Date: June 11, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge writes that historians should make an attempt at learning more about American history by accessing archives in Europe through the use of new technology.
(Original document available here)
Practically everything in the way of original records of the discovery, exploration and settlement of our country is in Europe. A great deal of Colonial history also, is located there. In Scandinavia and Iceland documents possibly exist relating to this country before the time of Columbus. Scholars report a vast amount of material in the archives of Spain, France and Holland concerning our early history that has never been carefully investigated. The Vatican is supposed to be another source of important material. London has been only partially examined.
All these original sources of the history of this country ought to be thoroughly explored by competent scholars. The new method of photographing documents on films so that they can be reproduced on a screen when wanted would seem to be an inexpensive method of making these ancient records available to students. This work might well be undertaken by the national government, by a university, or some of the charitable foundations. A great mass of important documents is known to exist from the observations of those searching for facts concerning some specific event or individual life, but they have never been systematically studied. The whole record should be disclosed.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.