This chapter compares the contemporaneous efforts by champions of distinct
historical enterprises to demonstrate that they could create and sustain
professional scholars worthy of the mantle of the Romantic man of letters.
It compares the idealized personae created by Professor J. Franklin Jameson
to those created by competing factions within the for-profit research
company that produced what became the Bancroft Library at the University of
California, Berkeley. It demonstrates that Jameson and representatives from
Bancroft’s History Company all claimed that their enterprises could
synthesize and sustain genius, calling to mind the heroic man of letters who
could believably promise to meet the onerous expectations of the archival
turn. Just as importantly, this chapter examines what we stand to gain and
to lose in different permutations of the ‘scholarly persona’ by
experimenting with the results produced by aligning different traits with
scholarly personae while reducing others to supporting structures like
templates or repertoires.