February 16, 2011
This week we’ve been reading about the 2012 federal budget (or the continuation of the 2011 fiscal year budget) and how it would affect the history and archival communities. Then, read about the rare map donated to the Library of Congress, the Civil War sesquicentennial digitization project, and an exhibit on video games that needs your help. Also, since Valentine’s Day was earlier this week we link to a podcast on the history of courtship, an article on Sweetheart candies, and 13th century illustrations of the heart. Finally, hear about a recently discovered wreck of an 1820s whaling vessel (and its connections to Moby Dick) and look back at Mary Surratt’s boarding house.
- FY ’11 Funding Bill Poses Threat to History & Archival Programs
Lee White, executive director of the National Coalition for History, reports that the Republican leadership is pushing for a “massive continuing resolution (H.R. 1) that would fund the federal government for the remainder of FY ’11” that would reduce or eliminate funding for “history and archival communities, such as Teaching American History Grants, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and others.” He has also reported on President Obama’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget and how it will affect Teaching American History Grants, the National Archives & NHPRC, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park Service, Institute of Museum & Library Services, National Intelligence Program, and Smithsonian Institution.
- Library of Congress Obtains Rare Revolutionary-Era Map
The Library of Congress recently acquired the first map printed in North America: “A New and Correct Map of the United States of North America Layd Down from the Latest Observations and Best Authorities Agreeable to the Peace of 1783.″
- Civil War 150 Legacy Project
The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and the Library of Virginia are working to digitize Civil War documents throughout Virginia.
- The Art of Video Games
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is putting together an exhibit on video games, and they are looking for gamers to curate.
- Love Me Did: A History of Courtship
The BackStory with the American History Guys podcast talks to Beth Bailey (historian and author of From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in 20th Century America) and Pamela Epstein (historian and blogger-in-chief, Advertising For Love) about Puritan dating practices (less puritanical than you’d think!), shotgun weddings, class and race, and more.
- The History of Sweetheart Candies
Smithsonian Magazine celebrated Valentine’s Day earlier this week with a look at the history of Sweetheart candies.
- My Heart Will Go On
NPR’s Robert Krulwich looks at manuscript drawings from the 13th century, in a look back at the heart.
- No ‘Moby-Dick’: A Real Captain, Twice Doomed
The wreckage of an 1820s whaling vessel, captained by the man who inspired Moby Dick, has been discovered 188 years after its demise. Artifacts on the ship are giving researchers a glimpse into the 19th century whaling trade.
- Looking Back: Mary Surratt Boarding House
Local blog DCist takes a photographic look back at Mary Surratt’s boarding house, which is now home to an Asian restaurant.
Contributors: Miriam Hauss Cunningham, David Darlington, Kelly Elmore, Elisabeth Grant, and Lee White