August 21, 2008
This edition of What We’re Reading should have a code name and secret password. We start off with news of the recent release of Office of Strategic Services files and the revelation of identities of some agents. Then, we turn to NPR, with a story on Fort Hunt Park in Virginia’s secret role in WWII. We turn next to history blogs to hear about bad experiences with the Academic Job Wiki and good experiences with bad history films. Want to partner with the Government Printing Office? They’re looking to digitize a number of historical materials. Finally, read about a $3 million boxing archive, an extensive online photo collection, the Women’s History Museum’s search for a home, NASA’s chief historian, and the five secrets to publishing success.
- Newly released files show Julia Child was a spy
Last Thursday the National Archives released over 750,000 documents from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was the WWII precursor to the CIA. Within these files were the identities of many OSS members, including historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., chef Julia Child, and Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, to name a few.
- Breaking The Silence Of A Secret POW Camp
Speaking of top secret, NPR has done a story on Fort Hunt Park in Virginia and its role as a secret interrogation camp during World War II.
- The Perils of the Academic Job Wiki
Rebecca Goetz at the Historianess blog describes a confusing series of posts on the Academic Jobs wiki, from the point of view of a search committee.
- Teaching With Scorcese’s Gangs Of New York, Part I
Tim Lacy at the History and Education blog explains how historically inaccurate movies can still have a place in the classroom.
- GPO’s Digitization and Preservation Initiatives
The Government Printing Office is proceeding with its efforts to digitize a large portion of its back content and is seeking a partner. While the initial effort is focused on material created since 1990, their longer term goal (PDF) includes historical materials dating back to its inception. Hat tip.
- Gems of the Ring, Guarded by a Professor in Boxing Gloves
The New York Times reports on a $3 million boxing archive, collected by late boxing historian Hank Kaplan, which is being donated to the Brooklyn College Library. Hat tip.
- Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection
The Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection from Indiana University contains approximately 14,500 Kodachrome color slides, taken 1938-69. The collection chronicles, among other things, the growth of urban America during that time. Users can browse the collection through various categories, search for specific tags, or enjoy items via slideshow.
- Women’s History Museum ISO Home
Dcist, a blog focused on events and news in Washington, D.C., details the National Women’s History Museum’s search for a permanent building and the need for Congress to pass H.R. 6548 so they can do so.
- The Life and Times of a Public Historian
The most recent issue of the History of Science Society’s newsletter profiles Steven K. Dick, a public historian who has spent the last five years as NASA’s Chief Historian.
- Five Secrets to Publishing Success
Thom Brooks at Inside Higher Ed reveals what he believes are the five secrets to publishing success.
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, and Robert Townsend