What We’re Reading: December 18, 2008 Edition

White House Fire, 1929As the holidays draw ever nearer we link to two festive posts: holiday events at National Trust Historic Sites and a look back to an eventful Christmas Eve at the White House in 1929. Then we move on to a number of digital history related items: The Journal of American History has a new podcast, the Library of Congress has released a report on their Flickr Pilot, Google is now digitizing magazines, Walt Whitman has his own digital archive, and HNN is looking for interns. In other news, the Justice Department has donated documents to the United States Holocaust Museum, the Washington Post names the top ten history books for the past year, and West Point starts a new Center for Oral History. Finally, we link to Life photographs from 1958, a new Economist report, the top newspapers for reporting on higher education, and some thoughts on doing transnational/global history.

‘Tis the Season

  • Holiday Cheer — with a Side of History
    The PreservationNation blog highlights a number of holiday events at National Trust Historic Sites across the country, including (to name a few): Victorian Christmas Tours at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Chicago, Illinois; Luminaries Tour at Acoma Sky City in Acoma, New Mexico; and Holiday Tours at Belle Grove in Middletown, Virginia.
  • Up on the Roof Top…Hoover Watched
    The holidays can evoke images of hot chocolate, warm gloves, and roaring fires. But the American Presidents Blog takes a look back at a decidedly un-festive fire, one that damaged the White House on Christmas Eve in 1929.

What Else We’re Reading

  • The Journal of American History Podcast
    The Journal of American History launches its new podcast with a conversation with James Meriwether on his article “‘Worth a Lot of Negro Votes’: Black Voters, Africa, and the 1960 Presidential Campaign.” Hat tip.
  • Library Releases Report on Flickr Pilot
    The Library of Congress reports on its project of posting photographs from the library’s collections on Flickr, and how the masses on the internet have reacted and contributed.
  • Search and find magazines on Google Book Search
    First they did books, then newspapers, and now Google is tackling magazine archives.
  • All Whitman, All Digital
    The Chronicle’s Wired Campus blog interviews Ed Folsom, a professor of English at the University of Iowa, about his role in helping to create the Walt Whitman Archive online.
  • How do I apply for an internship at HNN?
    See behind the scenes and gain experience with blogs through an internship from HNN.
  • U.S. Gives Papers On Nazis To Holocaust Museum
    NPR reports on the donation of Justice Department documents to the United States Holocaust Museum this past Tuesday. These documents “totaling more than 50,000 pages — chronicle trials of Nazis found living in the United States over the past three decades.”
  • Best Books of 2008
    The Washington Post lists the top ten history books of the year. Hat tip.
  • The Center for Oral History – USMA
    The United States Military Academy at West Point has created a new Center for Oral History, “an online research center gathering the personal stories of American service men and women of all ranks—beginning with those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and going back to veterans of Vietnam, Korea, World War II, and other campaigns.” The center officially launches in 2009, and has an advisory board that includes filmmaker Ken Burns and former presidential advisor Gen. Brent Scowcroft.
  • The Recession of 1958
    Time Magazine reprints some of Life magazine’s photographs from the recession of 1958.
  • Please, Sir, What Is History?
    The Economist reports about a controversial interim report on curricular reform in British primary schools. The interim report recommends, among other things, the melding of history and geography into one "learning area" called “human, social and environmental understanding.” The recommendations were made by Sir Jim Rose, who had been commissioned by the British government to undertake an independent review of the curriculum, mainly to make space for teaching computing and behavioral skills and foreign languages. The debate over the interim report echoes the U.S. controversy about including history in social studies courses.
  • Top Newspapers For Higher Ed Reporting
    At the ACRLog “StevenB” expresses his opinions on what he thinks are the top newspapers for reporting on higher education news.
  • The Promise And Perils Of Transnational History—And The Consequences For U.S. Intellectual History
    We almost missed Tim Lacy’s excellent piece on the difficulties of doing truly transnational/global history. Taking off from the October AHR, he reflects on the problems of funding, time, and language for historians seeking to conduct research across multiple borders.

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

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  1. John Warren

    It’s nice that you picked up the news about the West Point Center for Online History. Those interested can read the full story of what’s been happening in New York regarding the reshuffling of Military Oral History at the New York History blog.

    Reply