Tag Archive


Community, Public History, and the Failure of the Whaling Ship Progress

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The importance of community undergirds nearly every corner and crevice of public history. From spatial communities bound by common geography to cultural communities of shared identity and lifeways, we almost instinctively understand that museums, archives, oral history projects, and other public history products require community engagement and engagement with communities. Read More

NCPH New Professional Travel Award: Reflections from William Stoutamire

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How can historic house museums remain relevant and engaging in the 21st century? That is the question before the nearly 15,000 such institutions currently operating in the United States. Much ink has been spilt debating the future of the house-museum model, from the pages of The Washington Post to The Boston Globe, even on this blog. Read More

G. Wesley Johnson Award: Beyond the shadows

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Editor’s Note: This series showcases the winners of the National Council on Public History’s awards for the best new work in the field. Today’s post is by Julia C. Wells, author of “In the Shadow of the Butcher: The Limits to Confronting Colonial Legacies Through Commemoration in South Africa,” The Public Historian Vol 36, No 2. Read More

Free range kids: museums at play

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EDITOR’S NOTE:  This post as it originally appeared on March 10 was a draft version, posted in error.  The correct version appears below.  We apologize to the authors and to our readers for the confusion.

Picture, for a moment, children of all ages loose in your museum; free to grab, change, move, and build with whatever their hands happen to come across. Read More

Community engagement across disciplinary boundaries

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For most of my experience as a public-historian-in-training, I did not often think about the arts in any purposeful way.  I played in an orchestra from elementary school through college, have a not-so-secret love for musicals (my roommates are probably tired of hearing me sing Disney songs in the shower!), Read More

Thinking like a community: Beyond shared authority

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conference posterI recently attended an event in Boston’s South End neighborhood called “Sharing our Stories: The Power of Place,” a sensational evening sponsored by the Tenants Development Corporation, Inc. and the Center for Art and Community Partnershipsat the Massachusetts College of Art and DesignRead More