What We’re Reading: September 4, 2008

Making the History of 1989This week’s post contains links to articles, interactive web features, and news from a museum and a historic home. Read about political scientists’ claims that those in the social sciences get more grants, and consider Lisa Spiro’s question of Wikipedia’s academic merits. On the digital history front, “Making the History of 1989” has officially launched; an interactive map shows Washington, D.C. in 1791; and a podcast chronicles the history of baseball. Finally, the Library of Congress embraces the Book of Secrets and James Madison’s home improvement is complete.

  • ‘Two Cultures’ Tension in Social Science
    Political scientists complain that humanities-leaning subjects (including history) seem to be getting a disproportionate number of research grants.
  • Is Wikipedia Becoming a Respectable Academic Resource?
    As Wikipedia references begin to crop up even in scholarly journal articles, Lisa Spiro at Digital Scholarship in the Humanities offers a useful survey of the discussion to date about its merits. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with her conclusions, it is a discussion the profession should be aware and a part of.
  • Making the History of 1989
    T. Mills Kelly announces the official launch of the Making the History of 1989 site. He explains that the “project offers users hundreds of primary sources on the events of 1989 and the end of the Cold War in Europe, interviews with prominent scholars, and a suite of resources for teachers and students.” AHA Today noted the site as a work in progress after was presented at a session at the 122nd Annual Meeting.
  • D.C. 1791 to Today
    See how the topography of Washington, D.C. has changed in this story from the Washington Post Magazine and the related map.
  • Baseball Historian Podcast
    The Baseball Historian podcast features audio from famous games in major league baseball history as well as classic player interviews. The audio comes from numerous sources, including vinyl recordings.
  • The Book of Secrets, Back Home Again
    What the Colbert portrait did for the Portrait Gallery the Book of Secrets is now doing for the Library of Congress.
  • Madison’s home celebrates $24 million restoration
    Five years and $24 million dollars later, President James Madison’s Montpelier home has been transformed.

Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, and Robert B. Townsend

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