To celebrate Preservation Week (April 21-27, #presweek), we are making available, to members and nonmembers alike, Jennifer Reut’s article on audio preservation and the Library of Congress’ recently released National Recording Preservation Plan that appears in the April issue of Perspectives on History.
|A badly deteriorated Memovox disc, a grooved CAV audio disc format made of thin sheets of cellulose acetate. This recording is unplayable and permanently lost. Library of Congress Photo/Abby Brack Lewis
Reut, associate editor of Perspectives, underscores the importance of recorded audio to the historical record and reveals a surprising connection between copyright, access, and preservation efforts.
In the April issue of Perspectives on History, we featured an opinion piece by Nicholas Sarantakes, who teaches history at the US Naval War College and has been writing about careers for historians at his blog, In the Service of Clio since 2009. As Sarantakes noted in a recent blog post, he didn’t get to cover everything he wanted to cover in his article, which makes a number of suggestions for how the AHA might address the academic jobs crisis.
We are making available, to members and nonmembers alike, Robert B. Townsend’s article for the April issue of Perspectives on History, which analyzes Department of Education research and finds that the number of history bachelor’s degrees awarded has declined for the first time in a decade.
Although the decline is small in terms of percentages, the fact that the undergraduate population as a whole is growing means that history’s share of the graduate population is declining significantly, accelerating a four-year trend that has adverse implications for the job market and history departments.
One year ago, Executive Director James Grossman introduced the AHA Tuning project in the pages of Perspectives. This month, we feature six articles related to the project—four from project participants and two from historians who have been watching closely.
Also in this issue, Nicholas Sarantakes, who blogs at In the Service of Clio, offers suggestions for ways the AHA can address the jobs crisis, reacting to the “Plan B” and “Plan C” articles by James Grossman and Anthony Grafton from 2011.
As we lift the pay gate on Michael Kazin’s contribution to the Masters at the Movies series, I’m reminded of how deeply the public mind has absorbed Frank Capra’s masterfully crafted image of the heroic filibuster from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. As readers are no doubt aware, the US Senate is in the throes of an unprecedented number of filibusters. President Obama and others have remarked that a simple majority is no longer sufficient for legislation to pass—that the only vote count which really counts is the supermajority required to break a filibuster.
Susan Ferber, executive editor of American and world history at Oxford University Press in New York, spends more time “living in the past” than most. In her essay for the March issue of Perspectives on History, she describes how romantic visions of history captured her imagination and compelled her to build a life and career that would allow her to live with one foot in the past.
Is this the “year of the MOOC,” as a New York Times reporter put it? Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have been one of the most hotly debated technologies in higher education, having attracted supporters with a nearly evangelical fervor and detractors with visions of catastrophe. The South by Southwest education conference (SXSWedu), which just wrapped up, was “A MOOC Love Fest,” according to Information Week, as they quoted one MOOC exec who said, “Absolutely, there’s been too much hype—and what a good idea!
Two of our favorite columns in Perspectives on History are being expertly filled this month by David Lowenthal and Michael Kazin, writing for the Art of Historyand the Masters at the Movies series, respectively. We are also exploring a new column, Thinking Historically, with an essay by Susan Ferber on Hurricane Sandy, and we have two articles in our Teaching section—Jeremy Adelman on the massive open online course (MOOC) he taught at Princeton, and Mart A. Stewart on the history class he took to Vietnam.