U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Institute for Constitutional Studies

I just wanted to put in a plug for the Institute for Constitutional Studies led by Maeva Marcus at George Washington University. Last week I had the pleasure of participating in one of their summer seminars. The seminar was funded by the NEH and led by Judge Michael McConnell of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and Professor Mark Noll of Notre Dame. It was on the influence of religion on American constitutionalism and brought together a variety of young scholars in law, history, and politics. I found it enlightening and useful. The Institute has other seminars on different themes during the summer, and, for those in the Washington DC area, it conducts various seminars and talks during the year. It is a good thing to know about if you have any research connection to law (as most of us do or should).

During the seminar I also found out about a digital resource called the Constitutional Sources Project or Consource.org. It takes the U.S. Constitution clause by clause and hyperlinks each clause to various ratification debates, papers of framers, and other primary source material to provide a truly powerful research and teaching tool. Consource, unlike some digital projects, features certified texts. It is a good example of the power of the new world of digital scholarship. We are entering a new research age. –DS