What We’re Reading: September 29, 2011 Edition

In the news this week, an archivist found a moon rock in former president Bill Clinton’s papers, historian Oscar Handlin has died at the age of 95, the National Archives is now on iTunes U, and students’ knowledge of civil rights history has declined. Then, listen to an interview with MacArthur Fellowship winner Jacob Soll, watch a TED talk on “Culturomics,” read an article on studying “deep history,” advocate for history education, and discover personal histories in report cards from the 1920s. Finally, just for fun, read an article on historians from satirical newspaper The Onion.

News

    Clinton moon rock

  • Arkansas archivist finds missing moon rock among Clinton’s gubernatorial papers
    You never know what you’ll find in the archives. For example, last week “an archivist sifting through the papers and memorabilia amassed during former President Bill Clinton’s time as Arkansas governor found a moon rock brought back by the Apollo 17 mission that had mysteriously gone missing.”
  • Oscar Handlin, Historian Who Chronicled U.S. Immigration, Dies at 95
    The New York Times reports on the death of historian Oscar Handlin, and quotes AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman on how Handlin shifted perspectives of American history: “[Handlin] reoriented the whole picture of the American story, from the view that America was built on the spirit of the Wild West, to the idea that we are a nation of immigrants.”
  • National Archives on iTunes U
    The National Archives is now offering access to a “selection of World War II films, Presidential historical documents and podcasts, and several ‘Inside the Vaults’ videos featuring behind-the-scenes at the Archives” through iTunes U.
  • Students’ Knowledge of Civil Rights History Has Deteriorated, Study Finds
    The New York Times reports on a recent study that finds students’ knowledge of civil rights history has declined.

Insights

Resources

  • Report Cards from the 1920s
    Paul Lukas tells the story, in this Slate article, of how he found 400 Manhattan Trade School student records from the 1920s and the personal histories he learned from them. Then check out his blog, where he takes a closer look at individual records.

Fun

Contributors: Debbie Ann Doyle, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, and Robert B. Townsend

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