A recent article at The Peoria Journal Star.com described how research has changed at the Everett McKinley Dirksen Congressional Leadership Research Center in Pekin, IL, home of documents and artifacts of former Illinois Senator Everett M. Dirksen.  The center has digitized most of its documents, which allows easier and far-reaching access for researchers around the world.  However, there are many items which can’t be digitized or beg to be visited by researchers in person.

Asst. Prof. of Political Science Dr. Shamira Gelbman used the Dirksen Center just last month for research for a potential book related to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  During her one-day visit to the center, she uncovered some documents which had not yet been digitized or were not deemed as relevant for online access.  The PJStar quotes Prof. Gelbman, “”It really paid to go there in person. There’s something to be said for holding original documents rather than just seeing scans of them.”  Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Before coming to Wabash as a Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of Political Science, Dr. Gelbman was an assistant professor at Illinois State University where she taught American Politics.  She received her B.A. from Hunter College and M.A. and Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, where she was also an American Political Development fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs.