What We’re Reading: December 6, 2007 Edition

Updates on funding for renovations on the American History Museum, debates from student newspapers on what to post on the web, and the question “Do we still need women’s history,” are topics from just a few of this week’s “What We’re Reading.” Also included is an article that takes a look into where the term “America” came from, and news from the National Coalition for History.

  • American History Museum fundraising drive on target
    The Examiner reports that the Smithsonian has raised $39.1 million to finish renovations on the American History Museum. That amount, paired with funds from the federal government, fulfills the $85 million needed for the project. The National Museum of American History web site says the museum “is scheduled to reopen by summer 2008.”
  • Caught in the Web
    This article from Inside Higher Ed examines how two student newspapers, Oklahoma State University’s Daily O’Collegian and Quinnipiac University’s Quinnipiac Chronicle, grapple with what to post on the web. It’s a debate relevant not just for student journalists, but for scholars of every discipline in this Internet age.
  • Do We Still Need Women’s History?
    Alice Kessler-Harris, professor of history at Columbia University and an AHA Council member, takes a look at the history of women’s history and whether the study of women’s history is still relevant today. This article requires a Chronicle subscription.
  • I am America. (And So?)
    Wyatt Mason of the New York Times looks into the origin of our country’s name, noting the significance of the 1507 world map by Martin Waldseemüller, which was the first document to use the term “America.” This map will be featured at the Library of Congress’s “Exploring the Early Americas,” an exhibit opening December 13th.
  • Opening Up Presidential Records
    The National Coalition for History reported last week that the Bush administration will not appeal a recent court decision that invalidated parts of Executive Order 13233, “which broadened the rights of presidents and former-presidents to withhold federal records from the public for indefinite periods of time.”

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Robert Townsend

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