What We’re Reading: September 12, 2013

Today’s What We’re Reading features a history of the wrecking ball, a look at the Smithsonian’s plans for digitizing its collections, advice on job hunting from a career headhunter, 19th-century man slang, and much more!

History in the News

10 States Are Shortchanging Historically-Black Land Grant Universities, Report Says

“Several Southern states underfunded historically black land-grant universities by tens of millions of dollars over a three-year period, according to a new report from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.”

WWR_09.12-Wrecking-ballMiley Cyrus and the History of the Wrecking Ball

Also this week: A singer released a video with a lot of nudity, the intertubes freaked out, and Time offered some historical context with “A consideration of the iconic metal sphere, from demolition tool to pop-music metaphor.”

History, Preservation, and the Smithsonian

What Digitization Will Do for the Future of Museums

The Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution G. Wayne Cough has published an e-book outlining the Smithsonian’s plans for digitizing its collections and making them more accessible to the public.

Piece of 16th Street Baptist Church Being Donated to Smithsonian

A remnant of the 1963 bombing, which killed four children and served for decades as a potent symbol of the atrocity, will now join the collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Fierce Fashion from 19th-Century Puerto Rico

A blog post from Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History blog excavates some intriguing fashion interpretations from 19th-century Puerto Rico.

What Did Chicago Look Like Before the Fire?

Smithsonian Magazine online has a cool Esri-built spyglass map tool that we can’t stop playing with.

Humanities and the Job Market

“Show Them Who You Are”

Hester Blum for Inside Higher Ed offers some universally applicable job counseling from her father, a professional headhunter.

The Most (and Least) Lucrative College Majors, in 1 Graph

All Things Considered takes a look at the financial returns of a given major.

A Perfect Storm? (Part 1)

History@Work posted a four-part series on the future of graduate education in public history, the state of the job market, whether students are being adequately prepared for the realities of the job market, and the future of the profession. It includes some intriguing ideas about helping students select an appropriate program and future collaboration between the AHA and National Council on Public History.

Adjuncts Are Better Teachers Than Tenured Professors, Study Finds
A Northwestern University study suggests adjuncts have better outcomes, particularly with struggling students.

Fun and Off-Beat

Manly Slang from the 19th Century

The Art of Manliness offers a few “old-time 19th century slang words” used in taverns and on the streets in the past. Included in the glossary, “Admiral of the Red: A person whose very red face evinces a fondness of strong potations.”

Amazingly Helpful GIFs of the Day: What Every New Yorker Should Know

Get ready for the AHA’s 2015 annual meeting with these insider tips!

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