Re: Local History found in Local Chapters of National Organizations

Re: Local History found in Local Chapters of National Organizations

“I have just read this issue’s column on the Encyclopedia of Local History, and it occurs to me that there is a great deal of local history to be found in the local chapters of national organizations. In addition to the obvious (for me) ones like Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting, I am thinking about service and fraternal clubs (Elks, Lions, Optimists, and Rotary), all of which have a component of community service in them.” Read more …

Transforming Young Minds with the Magic of History: National History Day Program Proves Innovative History Education Works

Transforming Young Minds with the Magic of History: National History Day Program Proves Innovative History Education Works

At a time when social studies is losing ground in American schools and the importance of studying history in a democracy is being ignored, National History Day (NHD) launched a national study of the effects of learning history through historical research.

Learn about the key findings and explore the implications for your institution. Join the conversation!

Re: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

Re: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

“Carol Kamman, who is often my favorite part of History News, had a slam dunk with ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ which eloquently articulates an observation I came to some years ago; that the answer to the question of ‘why history and historic sites matter’ and ‘what historic preservation is good for’ – is the same answer … ” Read more …

Book Sticker

Book Sticker

“Our historical society has a reasonably active publishing program. We have a patron who has been collecting photographs for some time and who would like to supplement his collection with ours in order to produce an Arcadia-type book. As a result, I read your article with interest when I came upon it just now on my coffee break.” Read more …

Who Are Museums For?

Who Are Museums For?

Eight months working with Ukrainian museums as a Fulbright Scholar led me to consider critical questions about my work with history museums here in the United States. As I explored museums in this emerging post-Soviet nation I began to think about the difficulties in defining heroes and villains, the struggle between telling collective and individual stories, and the challenges of working together in a country where suspicion and mistrust were the norm for decades.

Are museums really for everyone? Should they be? How can museums balance collective and individual stories? Join the conversation!

Turning Curios Into Collections

Turning Curios Into Collections

Museums are commonly offered private artifact collections with little provenience data – accurate information on their origins and therefore ownership. This poses a problem for museums that seek to care for archaeological objects, and to interpret the history they reflect.

In considering the acquisition of collections with uncertain ownership, how can museums balance the need to maintain professional standards with the need to care for unique, often irreplaceable objects? Should museums fill their shelves with poorly provenienced antiquities? What circumstances justify collecting such objects? Join the conversation!

Helping History Organizations Achieve National Standards One StEP at a Time

Helping History Organizations Achieve National Standards One StEP at a Time

With StEPs, history organizations now have specific recommendations for meeting national standards. This is the missing link that the field has been asking for. It answers the question: How do we know when an organization is meeting a standard?

How Collection Planning and Collaboration Supports the Cultural Heritage Institution and Community Memory

How Collection Planning and Collaboration Supports the Cultural Heritage Institution and Community Memory

The “Documentation Strategy” enables institutions to systematically gather and maintain materials that are vital to the story of civilization. It has been used by some archivists as a tool to support collection planning for the past three decades.

How does your institution work to support the documentary record? Is collaborative collection development across cultural disciplines a good idea for your institution and community? Join the conversation!

Crowdsourcing: Harnessing the Knowledge of Crowds

Crowdsourcing: Harnessing the Knowledge of Crowds

“Crowdsourcing” is loosely defined as mining the collective knowledge of a group. The term is often linked with online communities. Since there are never enough resources to accomplish the research projects that most history organizations hope to complete, crowdsourcing offers one strategy to address the challenge.

Is your institution “crowdsourcing”? Join the conversation!

Grappling with the Concept of Radical Trust

Grappling with the Concept of Radical Trust

People have more platforms than ever before to share their opinions with a wider world and an increased expectation that they should be included in the dialogue. Allowing your users to contribute content to your website requires radical trust. This concept, gaining steam with the rise of Web 2.0 and the popularity of social media tools like Flickr, Facebook, Youtube, blogs, and Twitter naturally raises concern in history organizations. It threatens authoritative voice and weakens control. Yet, it offers opportunities to reach and engage new audiences.

What do you think of this notion of “radical trust”?