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History Advocacy: Lessons from the Massachusetts History Alliance Conference

The history community does not do a good job advocating for itself. I am not referring to the actions an individual history organization may take on behalf of its own organization. Instead I am referring to collective action on behalf of the entire history community within the state. The major exception to this generalization is […]

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Museum History: From Maine to the Met to the Erie Canal

Museums have a history, too. Museums today the repositories of historical artifacts available to scholars and the general public alike. However that was not always so. There is a history of how museums came to be what they are today. This topic was the subject of two presentations at conferences in June: “Entertainments at Taverns […]

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The American Revolution 250th: A Time to Heal or a Time to Divide?

Now that this year’s July 4th celebration is over, it is time to start looking ahead to the big one, July 4, 2026. That date marks the 250th anniversary of the declaring of the United States of America. It also is the bicentennial of the deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and […]

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Slavery in New York: An Angolan Case Study

Angolans are in the news. Recently there has been a surge in migrants from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. After a decade of hardly any migration from these countries, suddenly the numbers have increased specifically to Portland, Maine and to San Antonio, Texas. The surge has overwhelmed the communities. Unlike the Central American […]

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Hudson Yards versus Hudson Valley: Where Is Your Field of Dreams?

Earlier this spring the Manhattan skyline changed rather dramatically. As the front page of the New York Times put it: “A Gleaming Behemoth Rises, for Better or Worse”(print edition March 15, 2019; online title Hudson Yards Is Manhattan’s Biggest, Newest, Slickest Gated Community. Is This the Neighborhood New York Deserves?).   It’s called Hudson Yards. […]

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Promoting Local History: Here’s What People Are Doing

It is difficult to keep up with all that is going on in the history community. There are newsletters and conferences but no one gets the news letters of every individual history organization nor can one attend all the conferences…or even the sessions at a conference. Many of the items in newsletters are standard in […]

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Demographics and Local History

Local historical societies and museums, like local schools, local libraries, and, indeed, local communities, depend on there being a sufficient population to survive and thrive. Obviously that is true but what is the situation today? The front-page above-the-fold headline in my paper this Easter Sunday is “Estimates Show Population Loss in NY.” The article amusingly […]

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What’s New in Public History?

The National Council of Public History (NCPH) held its annual conference March 27-30 in Hartford. I was unable to attend that conference. Fortunately, the conference abstracts are posted to the NCPH website so it is possible to get a better sense of the presentations than from just knowing the titles and the presenters. It would […]

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