Tag Archive


How we grow: Camping Con

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One of the best things about NCPH is its openness to experimenting with new approaches to fostering conversations among public historians and facilitating reflection about public history. The NCPH “mini-con” program of small, topically focused regional gatherings, supported with funding from the NCPH endowment, epitomizes this agile and creative spirit. Read More

Touring with Empire Logistics Group

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Editor’s note: This post continues a series featuring contributions from members of the NCPH Board of Directors.

Lately I’ve been performing my public history. Several times this spring I’ve donned a business suit and silk blouse, straightened my blonde(ish) hair, and adopted the cheerful demeanor of a corporate publicist. Read More

Scratch the surface and women’s history is everywhere in Las Vegas

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Editor’s note: This is the final post in a series of pieces focused on Las Vegas and its regional identity which were posted before and during the NCPH Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in April. 

The casino and entertainment industries in Las Vegas have used women’s bodies to sell the city since the 1950s. Read More

Agriculture and public history: A working group

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It’s an exciting time for public historians interested in putting the farm-to-fork movement into historic context. Recent books, including Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites (2015), Interpreting Agriculture at Museums and Historic Sites (2017), and Public History and the Food Movement: Adding the Missing Ingredient (2018), demonstrate that public historians are bringing new insights to bear on interpreting agricultural history and food history. Read More

Neon City: Power lines and plundered lands

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I hope NCPH members and The Public Historian subscribers will enjoy our second foray into digital special editions tuned to the current moment in public history. Our Monuments, Memory, Politics, and Our Publics issue of last September responded to public debates around the removal of “Lost Cause” monuments then in the news. Read More

How a Pennsylvania gal fell in love with Nevada

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Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of pieces  focused on Las Vegas and its regional identity which will be posted before and during the NCPH Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in April.

I grew up scouring the grasses around the Juniata River for arrowheads and I hunted down second-hand fur coats in every rusty, steel town in western Pennsylvania. Read More

Cold War legacies: Preservation and use at historic sites

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Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of pieces  focused on Las Vegas and its regional identity which will be posted before and during the NCPH Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in April.

Cold War-era historic sites challenge public historians to strike a balance between the need for preservation and the need for continued use. Read More

Reimagining the history of the (Inter)National Park Service

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On May 13, 1918, less than two years after the National Park Service (NPS) was established, U.S. Interior Secretary Franklin K. Lane wrote to first National Park Service (NPS) director Stephen T. Mather regarding ways in which the new federal agency could interpret and expand its mission. Read More

Community of Gardens mobile app from Smithsonian Gardens

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Popular culture has recently taken a renewed interest in gardening—food gardening in particular. In 2014, Smithsonian Gardens created Community of Gardens, a crowdsourced initiative to preserve our vernacular garden heritage. Now, the free and newly-released Community of Gardens app allows people to easily explore the stories, videos, and images in the Community of Gardens digital archive in a mobile-friendly environment, as well as locate stories and gardens nearby. Read More

Project showcase: Forest History Society’s Repeat Photography Project

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Repeat photography is the practice of photographing a specific location at two or more points in time. It is a powerful visual resource for scientific study and education in forest and landscape management. To take advantage of this technology, the Forest History Society (FHS) recently started the Repeat Photography Project. Read More