history observations pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

Let’s Not Wait for History to Make Judgements

Throughout the four years of the Trump regime, as report after report came out about corrupt, unethical, possibly illegal, democratic-norm-breaking behavior, joined by an incessant number of lies, conspiracy theories, threats, and nasty comments, there has been a common refrain on Twitter. “History will not judge these individuals well.” As though merely pointing out how future people will look back on this time, shake their finger, and say, “Tsk, tsk,” and individuals currently engaging in…

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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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history history relevance museums pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

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 history relevance museums practical history pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

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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history history relevance museums pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

“Two Broken Hips Away from Closing”

This tweet by public historian Larry Cebula out of Spokane, Washington, is painful in that there are far too many small museum situations where this is true. Often local history museums have been started by older people in a community, folks at or near retirement who are thinking of their personal legacies or the legacies of their community. They’ve got the time and motivation to start a collection or save a building and put together…

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