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Roadblocks to Challenging the Exclusive Past

I am choosing to gear this week’s blog questions towards my time at the National Council on Public History annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland in lieu of speaking to one public history professional. I went to the conference with very few expectations and while I left reinvigorated by the prospects of a career in public history, I…

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Facts on File: Access and Transparency

As their website puts it, “Infobase is an educational solutions company providing digital reference content…” In particular Infobase’s Facts on File online content provides valuable historical content. There are several important features about Facts on File. The website contains videos, images, timelines, biographies, and documents. In particular I was looking at the American Indian history…

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Campaign Memorabilia

I have worked a couple of times with the Patricia Caron Crowley collection at the Women and Leadership Archives. Patricia was very active with charities and organizations in Chicago. During the 1968 and 1972 Presidential elections, Patricia and her husband Pat were heavily involved in the Eugene McCarthy campaign in Illinois. They held parties and…

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Show Me the Play Counts!

As the years have gone by, the devices I’ve used to listen to music have changed. There was the Zen, the iPod Touch, the Dell computer, and more recently the iPhone and the MacBook. The one thing I always dread about new devices, besides transferring music, is the loss of my play counts. For some…

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Prioritizing: Digital Projects & Public History

While browsing through the websites of some museums, I found myself wondering why the museum chose to exhibit certain collections. For the most part, many of the online exhibits were interesting and very relevant to the institution displaying them. However, especially at institutions with numerous collections, I was left to contemplate the issues a museum…

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What’s Happening?: #Promoting Public History in #140Characters

Pictures and web links distinguish many of the museum and archives tweets from the personal and business accounts I follow on Twitter. In 140 characters or less, public history institutions answer the question “What’s happening?” by teaching short history lessons, promoting events, showcasing special artifacts, and interacting with followers. The constant use of pictures draws my…

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Telephone Troubles: Reflections on Diane Umble’s “Sinful Network or Divine Service”

Diane Umble, in her article “Sinful Network or Divine Service: Competing Meanings of the Telephone in Amish Country,” skillfully balances several parallels to illustrate the various reactions to the introduction of the telephone in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, telephone lines rapidly spread throughout Lancaster County. Farmers set up…