What We’re Reading: November 20, 2008

Board game from the 1800sIn the news this week, Bruce Cole departs the NEH for his new role at the American Revolution Center, and Louis Hyman, Harvard alum and AHA member, receives a fellowship through the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Then, read an article on the affect of blogs on public intellectuals. We’ve also linked to a number of digital and non-digital projects: the Rehnquist papers at the Hoover Institution, LIFE photos through Google, five centuries of board games, a range of resources on the Hammer Museum web site, Virginia Tech’s new digital archive, an interactive map of historic D.C. tours, and Google’s Rome site. Finally, read about a historian’s answer to Lincoln’s premonition of his death, Studs Terkel’s impact on the history field, and an opportunity to impact Social Studies-History standards.

  • Bruce Cole to Depart the National Endowment for the Humanities
    This press release announces the departure of Bruce Cole from the role of chairman at the NEH to the American Revolution Center where he will serve as president and CEO.
  • Visiting Scholars – American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    Louis Hyman, Harvard alum and AHA member, was awarded along with eight others a fellowship through the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Visiting Scholars Program.
  • Public Intellectual 2.0
    Have blogs arrested the much-lamented decline of public intellectuals?  Daniel W. Drezner asks in the Chronicle, "[C]ritics fail to recognize how the growth of blogs and other forms of online writing has partially reversed a trend that many cultural critics have decried, and ­what Russell Jacoby called the ’professionalization and academization’ of public intellectuals. In fact, the growth of the blogosphere breaks down ­or at least erodes ­the barriers erected by a professionalized academy."
  • Rehnquist Papers up to 1974 now open to researchers
    Legal History Blog reports that some of the papers of late Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist are now open at the Hoover Institution, including portions of his personal papers from 1947 to 1971, as well as papers from the 1972 to 1974 Supreme Court terms. See the finding aid (PDF) online.
  • LIFE Photo Archive available on Google Image Search
    The Official Google Blog announced the new LIFE photo archive being hosted by Google. The archive includes photos and etchings that go back all the way to 1750. Eventually, as in months, Google plans to post the complete LIFE archive of nearly 10 million photos.
  • Five Centuries of Board Games
    The BibliOdyssey blog presents images from the British Museum Prints Database, showing board games from 1588 to 1940. Hat tip.
  • Hammer Web Site Raises the Bar for Museum Offerings
    The Chronicle’s Wired Campus blog profiles the web site of the Hammer Museum, and all the digital content offered there.
  • Virginia Tech Students Create Electronic Archive on Shootings
    View nearly 6,000 pages of documents included in the Prevail Archive, a new site created by Virginia Tech students to provide the public with information about the April 16, 2007 tragedy.
  • D.C. Historic Tours
    Discover D.C. through this interactive map that shows “historic landmarks, structures, and districts, city heritage tours, African American heritage sites and DC heritage trails, and where to get a pizza afterwards.” Hat tip.
  • Take a Trip to Ancient Rome, via Google Earth
    Google Earth has recently released their new interactive web site that takes users back to 320 A.D. when Constantine the Great ruled Ancient Rome. Users can tour the insides of famous Roman buildings, visit Roman landmarks, and learn about typical Roman lifestyles.
  • Did President Lincoln actually foretell his death to a reporter the day before he was killed?
    Ward Hill Lamon, a bodyguard and friend of President Lincoln, said he was with the president a few days before he was assassinated. Lincoln allegedly shared a premonitory dream where he saw his own death. Though some historians are still a bit skeptical of the accuracy with Lamon’s story, check out this “Ask a Historian” question on the National History Education Clearinghouse site and decide for yourself.
  • ‘P.S.: Further Thoughts From a Lifetime of Listening’ by Studs Terkel
    Tim Rutten highlights the late Studs Terkel’s impact on the history field, particularly his work as an oral historian, and explores his posthumous collection P.S.: Further Thoughts From a Lifetime of Listening.
  • Serve on an NBPTS Standards Committee
    The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is accepting applications for the committee responsible for reviewing and revising its Social Studies-History standards. The application will be available through December 12, 2008, 5:00pm EST. The NBPTS is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization that aims to advance the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching, creating a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts.

Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Noralee Frankel, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend

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