On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington announced the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association had appointed Dr. Douglas Bradburn as the founding Director of the Library effective Thursday, August 15, 2013. At the time, Dr. Bradburn served as Vice-Chair and Director of Graduate Studies of the History Department of Binghamton University-State University of New York.
Dr. Bradburn now serves as Associate Professor of History at Binghamton University-State University of New York, on leave of absence for the school years 2013-14. He earned his Ph.D. at The University of Chicago in 2003.
A specialist in Early American History and Early British History, he wrote The Citizenship Revolution: Politics and the Creation of the American Union, 1774-1804, published by University of Virginia Press in 2009. With John C. Coombs, he edited Early Modern Virginia: Reconsidering the Old Dominion, published by University of Virginia Press in 2011. Peter Onuf, Professor Emeritus in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia and co-host of the popular NPR program Backstory with the American History Guys, called Bradburn “one of the smartest people writing in the field today.”
“With the opening of the Library, Mount Vernon is poised to become the pre-eminent center for scholarship about George Washington and for educational outreach about his life and legacy,” said Ann Bookout, Regent (chairwoman) of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. “Doug’s experience as an accomplished scholar and pioneering educator will help us to advance this important aspect of our mission.”
“Doug is a respected scholar with an entrepreneurial spirit. With his extensive knowledge about the era in which George Washington lived and the early Virginia society in which he grew up, he will be an immediate asset to Mount Vernon,” said Curt Viebranz, President & C.E.O. of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. “His academic pursuits are rooted in the past, but his eye for innovation and his ability to build compelling new programs and connections will play a critical role in the launch of the Library.”
The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association stated, “In addition to academic achievements, Bradburn’s career at SUNY-Binghamton is punctuated by successful entrepreneurial ventures. Upon joining the staff, he took immediate steps to invigorate the university’s early American history program, transforming it into one of the most highly-regarded of its kind. He spearheaded the development of the Upstate Early American History Workshop, which brings scholars together from throughout the region to review academic works in progress. He has forged relationships and partnerships with local historical societies, museums, and civic organizations to provide audiences for his students’ works and to strengthen ties to the community. Under Bradburn’s guidance, Binghamton students have been honored with fellowships and funded research opportunities, and with tenure-track positions of their own.”
He arrived at SUNY-Binghamton as an assistant professor of history in 2005. Three years later, he was named associate professor, later serving as department vice-chair, and was recently elected chair.
Bradburn is considered one of the best teachers on the campus and was honored with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010. His teaching was featured on C-SPAN’s Lectures in History series in 2012.
He has furthered his own studies as the recipient of prestigious fellowships, including a Gilder Lehrman Research Fellowship at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello (2004-2005) and a Faculty Fellowship at The Newberry Library (2004). His additional teaching experiences include adjunct professorships at Northern Illinois University (2003-2004) and DePaul University (2000).
The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association stated, "As founding director of the new Library, Bradburn will manage a staff of approximately fifteen, including Mount Vernon’s special collections and library reference professionals, all of whom will work inside the new 45,000 square-foot facility located opposite the main entrance to the Mount Vernon estate. The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association raised $106.4 million to construct and endow the Library and to establish its opening slate of programs, including short- and long-term residential research fellowships. Managed by the private not-for-profit Association, the Library will not accept government funding."
“This library has the potential to trump all presidential libraries, as Washington’s impact on the history and character of the United States is greater than that of any president, and perhaps any single historic figure,” said Bradburn. “I am honored to be selected to lead Mount Vernon’s efforts to stimulate the creation and circulation of new thinking on the founding, and to build connections that enable our leaders, rising scholars, and the general public to access it.”
Born in Wisconsin and raised in Virginia, Dr. Bradburn is a resident of Binghamton, New York. Bradburn earned a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Economics at the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in History from The University of Chicago.
His wife of fifteen years, Nadene J. Bradburn, is President of Blackwell Associates, a healthcare consulting firm. They have two young sons, Charles and Samuel.
The Friends of the Glen Ellyn Public Library are hosting a Used Book Sale in the Glen Ellyn Public Library's basement this weekend (Saturday, September 21, 2013 and Sunday, September 22, 2013). Admission is free. On Sunday, books by the bag will cost $5.00.