In Today’s What We’re Reading, we feature readings and resources related to Women’s History Month, a history of the “set-top box,” a look at “what employers want” from public history graduates, and more.
Women’s History Month
Maps offer a unique perspective on of women’s history that combines both the spatial and textual. The Library of Congress’s “American Memory” section hosts an interesting mini-site under the Geography and Map Division umbrella that includes entries about women as mapmakers, map collectors, and geographers as well as its holdings of collections of maps of women’s spaces. For a more visual approach, our friends at MapStory are hosting an elegant animated map of women’s suffrage from 1920 that traces the progress of women’s voting rights across the country. The National Archives has several collections mapped on Historypin dealing with women’s history, including women in the military, women at work, and women’s suffrage. Although these examples are intriguing, there has yet to be the a critical mass of digital humanities or mapping projects that deal with women’s history. Perhaps the upcoming conference at Bryn Mawr on Women’s History in the Digital World will be the timely event that brings more of this work into the public sphere.
Sharon Day, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, reflects on the relationship between the GOP and women’s history, writing, “Looking back, I’m proud of the Republican Party’s role in securing women’s right to vote, and I am inspired by the work of those strong-willed suffragettes who strengthened our party along the way.”
Prikipedia? Or, Looking for the Women on Wikipedia
History blogger Claire Potter asks “where are the women?” in Wikipedia’s mass archive of collaborative historical scholarship, and links to some interesting projects that are attempting to increase coverage. This imbalance was not lost on Adeline Koh, writing for Prof Hacker blog, who is helping organize two Wikipedia edit-a-thon events in celebration of women’s history month. You can read more details about the events here.
Fun with History
The Ruined Capitol
Vanished Washington offers a photo archive of what once was and what was built in its place during the “great architectural purge of The Federal City from 1940 to 2000.”
The History of the Set-Top Box: From Bunny Ears to Apple TV
A “look back at the set-top boxes that have allowed us to kill time with ever greater efficiency.”
History of the 1970s Unveiled in New Exhibit at the National Archives
The National Archives offers a new exhibition, “Searching for the Seventies: The Documerica Photography Project,” and the Washington Post offers a sneak peek.
Down Goes the Dictator! A Visual History of Statue Vandalism
Foreign Policy offers a visual history of the history of “statue vandalism.” According to writer John Hudson, “For the oppressed revolutionary, there are few things more gratifying than the destruction of a dictator’s statue.”
Issues in the History Profession
The Washington Post offers some interesting articles on the difficulty of recruiting staff to interpret slavery at Colonial Williamsburg and efforts to commemorate Harriett Tubman. They both illustrate some of the complexities of interpreting the past at historic sites.
Concerns Over “Wanted” Runaway Slave Poster Resolved, Penns Grove School Officials Say
A controversy that relates to several conversations held during the last annual meeting regarding the difficulties inherent in using role play in the history classroom.
The National Council on Public History has a couple of interesting posts on its blog, including another installment in the series on what employers want, and a post by its 2013 award winner for the best new book in public history, talking about the process of turning her dissertation into a book.
“Each Item Tells a Human Story,” UCF Prof Says at History Harvest
History Harvests are spreading, and you can read more about them in the January issue of Perspectives on History.
Reduction of Public Hours at National Archives Facilities in the Washington, DC, Area
In part due to sequestration, the National Archives announced on Monday that it will reduce public hours at two of its Washington, DC, metro locations. The press release states, “In the past, the National Archives offered extended hours from March 15 through Labor Day, when the building stayed open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. We will no longer offer these extended hours.”