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Storytelling: Using Your Documents to Tell a Story

We are a storytelling species. In this post I would like to share one example of the potential for storytelling in our communities using primary source documents. In subsequent posts, I intended to share other examples from different formats and venues showing how different history organizations and people are reaching out to audiences in different […]

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Funding Field Trips

I have heard the ads, haven’t you? Yes, it’s time to start the back-to-school shopping. At least so say the marketers. That also means it’s time to start thinking about school field trips. One of the issues with field trips is even if the school permits them there is the cost of the bus. Here […]

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Who Advocates in Your State for State and Local History?: The Massachusetts History Alliance Experience

On June 4, 2018, I attended the annual Massachusetts History Conference. The conference was held at Holy Cross. The University of Massachusetts was a supporter through its Amherst Program in Public History, Boston Public History and Archives Tracks and the Joseph P. Healey Library. Mass Humanities, Massachusetts Historical Society, Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board, […]

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Runaway Slave Ads: Should They Be in the Curriculum?

In the school district of the Village of Port Chester where I live, a teacher offered an extra-credit option to create a runaway slave ad. The ad was to include: 1. The amount of the reward 2. The name and age of the runaway 3. A five-sentence description of the runaway 4. The moment and […]

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Witches in America: A Tale of Three New Yorkers

Witches are in the news and three New Yorkers have tales to tell. From Queens to Ithaca to Chittenango, New Yorkers figure prominently in the witch stories in American history. And there is Broadway too. So let’s examine the status of witches through the lens of the New York experience. Queens Today the big noise […]

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REDC Funding Cycle Begins: Start Your Cultural Heritage Tourism Proposals

It’s that time of the year again. It is time to start preparing your proposals for the 2018 version of Hunger Games (see REDC: Funding “Hunger Games” Where History Is the Loser). However this time, I suggest the history community try something different. To begin with, as a resident of the Hudson Valley, I received […]

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County History Conference: Lessons from Ulster County

Counties should have county history conferences. So I have been preaching since 2011 when I initiated five such conferences in the Hudson Valley and helped organize four of them. One of them was the Ulster County History Conference. While it was not as successful as the Orange and Putnam counties’ events, it did provide a […]

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History at Columbia University: Report from a Battle Front in the Culture Wars

On April 5, while doing research, I took a lunch-break and picked up a copy of the Columbia Daily Spectator, the Columbia University undergraduate newspaper. In reading the paper, I came across several articles directly related to history and the current culture wars. Since I have a sample of only one newspaper, I can’t determine […]

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My Own History Advocacy Day in Albany

Tourism Action Day occurred on March 12 this year, one week after Parks Advocacy Day. The sequence worked out well for me as I got to see some legislators twice in a very brief time. Tourism Action Day was organized by the Tourist Industry Coalition. According to its website, the New York State Tourism Industry […]

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