history museums pragmatic historian preservation

Whose History Belongs to Whom?

As per usual, existential questions related to the history field have bubbled to the surface on Twitter. I’ve got two of them to discuss in this post. They appeared on Twitter within a week of each other and though they were posted separately by different people, they speak to each other. The first existential question was raised by applied math professor Chad Topaz. I know Chad personally because he was my daughter’s advisor at Macalester…

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history museums pragmatic historian reading

How Did I Miss This Book as a Kid?

After getting off to a slow start, with my parents called in to school when I was in first grade because teachers were concerned I wasn’t picking up reading quickly enough, I have been a voracious reader most of my life. My memory is fuzzy on this point, but I think my interest in reading kicked into high gear around third grade and by the time I was in eighth grade I was an advanced…

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action challenge history ideas museums pragmatic historian

Mourning Victims of the Pandemic – A Call to Action for Museums

      Since reading this Twitter thread by Kristin Rawls, it has been circling through my head. Within 8 tweets, Rawls has expressed the sad state of the United States of America during the COVID-19 pandemic, how we are collectively willing to reopen society and let tens of thousands more people die unnecessarily because we have been unwilling to mourn the loss of the tens of thousands who have already died. The thread points…

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history museums pragmatic historian

Survival vs Thrive-al Services

One of the key points I keep making about history is that it is part of our infrastructure. Each community has a foundation of history, as does each state, and the nation as a whole. The unique history of each community, the events, people, organizations, and even its geography, gives the place its special character. These are the features that affect how the community develops. They also draw people to the community. The history of…

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history museums pragmatic historian

How to Market History’s Importance as Infrastructure

Last week’s blog post, “Two Broken Hips Away from Closing,” was inspired by a tweet from historian Larry Cebula. This week’s post is inspired by a tweet from historian David Grabitske (as seen above) in response to that post. Last year around about this time, I came to the realization that history is part of a community’s infrastructure and I wrote about it here. Since then, any time I have the opportunity, I tell people…

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