history history relevance museums pragmatic historian preservation using history

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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design observations preservation

The Humidifier Poorly Designed for the Fussiness It Requires

The older I get, the more annoyed I become with poor design. Age may be part of that annoyance in that the body is simply not as capable as it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago. I’m finding it harder to lift things and my grip is not as strong. We recently purchased a new humidifier because our other one stopped releasing mist, which is a bad thing for a humidifier. In comparing box…

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history ideas observations pragmatic historian preservation purpose of history work in progress

Embodied Energy Is Key to the Grand Unified Theory of Preservation

Big, complex ideas take a significant amount of thought. Such is the case with the Grand Unified Theory of Preservation I’ve been working on for years. The thinking has continued since I shared the post I wrote about the theory a couple of weeks ago on this blog. Friend and history colleague David Grabitske sparked fresh thinking about the theory with a question he left on LinkedIn: “Where does Language Preservation fit? Just curious.“ Yes,…

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From Notre Dame to Yogurt Cups: Toward a Grand Unified Theory of Preservation

This is a post I’ve spent years thinking about. When it comes to historic preservation, the focus tends to be on buildings and structures that are historically or architecturally significant. Through the National Register of Historic Places, there are 4 criteria under which a structure can be nominated: Those … A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or B.That are associated with the…

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history ideas practical history pragmatic historian preservation

A Response to “Representation and The National Register in Minnesota”

This past week I read an interesting analysis of the National Register of Historic Places in regards to ethnic representation of Minnesota sites on the Register. The article appears on the Minnesota Local History blog and was written by Julia Larson. It is called “Representation and The National Register in Minnesota,” hence the title of my blog post. Julia analyzed the Minnesota listings on the National Register to determine which of those listed under the…

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