Bill of Sale

Facing Slavery’s Legacy at Georgetown: What Can Historians Contribute?

By Adam Rothman

Many universities in the United States are reckoning with their own involvement in the history of American slavery. What can historians contribute? It may seem counterintuitive to ask what historians can bring to the discussion of what seems to be an essentially historical problem, but the answer is not obvious because it depends on the tricky relationship between the past and the present.

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African American Past

The Politics of the Past in the Black Freedom Struggle

“I grew up reading about you,” historian Clayborne Carson told Terrence Roberts, one of the nine Arkansas teenagers who faced down racist mobs to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The two sat beside each other onstage before a packed audience at the National Museum of the American Indian, there to witness the opening roundtable for “The Future of the African American Past”—a historic conference inaugurating the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, soon to open on the National Mall.

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Magliari_photo

AHA Member Spotlight: Michael F. Magliari

AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment. To recognize our talented and eclectic membership, AHA Today features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.

Michael F. Magliari is a professor of history at California State University, Chico. He lives in Chico, California, and has been a member since 1990.

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Rock Photo

What I Learned from Visiting a Historical Site: An Undergraduate’s Experience at Gettysburg

A recent report from Humanities Indicators, a project of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, showed that less than a quarter of Americans aged 18 years or older visited a historical park or monument in 2012—a 13 percentage point drop from 1982. As a student from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah, I traveled to Washington, DC, in January to intern with the American Historical Association for the spring semester. Having taken advantage of opportunities to explore the city’s many historic sites and museums, the report made me wonder about the nation’s declining interest in visiting historical sites.

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Lichtenstein1

Googling History: The AHR Explores Implications of Using Digital Sources for Historians

The April issue of the American Historical Review inaugurates a new listing of digital primary sources. This feature serves as a preliminary guide to freely accessible online collections that will grow with each issue. We encourage readers to use this form to submit their own favorite digital primary-source archival collections for listing in future issues. As Lara Putnam argues in her article “The Transnational and the Text-Searchable: Digitized Sources and the Shadows They Cast” in the same issue, historians should be more aware of the implications of using these kinds of sources for the stories we tell about the past.

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