March 12, 2009
We start off this week’s post with some recent news: the collapse of the Cologne archives, Drew Gilpin Faust’s recent award, and museum events in D.C. Then, learn what it takes to be a part of the Flickr Commons, view an interactive map of Brooklyn, find out about history’s youth, or take an online tutorial. For fun, visit an illustrated look at Lincoln’s life, celebrate Barbie’s 50th birthday, and check out a unique photography experiment. Finally, we continue our look at “History in Hard Times,” with a number of articles on the job market. Read all this and more in this week’s What We’re Reading.
- Acclaimed German writer’s archive lost in building collapse
Last Tuesday, March 3, the six story Cologne archives collapsed (due to nearby construction) resulting in two missing people and loss of the papers of Heinrich Boell, a Nobel Prize-winning novelist. The article says the loss “has been compared to the destruction caused by wartime bombing raids,” and one historian states that it was "catastrophe for all European historians."
- Drew Gilpin Faust awarded New-York Historical Society American History Book Club Prize
Drew Gilpin Faust, distinguished historian, and a former vice president of the AHA’s Professional Division (1993–96), has been awarded the New-York Historical Society’s American History Book Club Prize and will receive the $50,000 prize and title of American Historian Laureate.
- March Museum Roundup
The DCist blog notes a number of March museum events in D.C. Some highlights include mention of the National Archives BIG! exhibit, the Library of Congress’s celebration of Women’s History Month, the “evolution of narrative art” at the National Museum of the American Indian, and much more.
- What does it take to join the Flickr Commons? Find out in an interview with newest member
”Ever wondered how your archives could join the Flickr Commons, and why you might want to?” The ArchivesNext blog interviews Tiah Edmunson-Morton, from the Oregon State University Archives, to find out.
- Victor Kiernan: Historian with a global vision of empires, Marxism, politics and poetry
In this obituary, published in the Guardian of February 18, 2009, British historian Eric Hobsbawm recounts the life and remarkable achievements of his friend, and fellow historian, Victor Kiernan, who had taught at Edinburgh University (and was the noted author, among many books, of The Lords of Human Kind: Black Man, Yellow Man, and White Man in an Age of Empire, a brilliant and pioneering study of the attitudes of imperial rulers toward peoples they conquered, a book that is also "a delight to read," as its reviewer concluded in the AHR of June 1970).
- ‘Historical consciousness’ can be double-edged sword, historian says
James Campbell, the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History at Stanford University, discusses how history can be twisted, reformed into fictional molds, and distributed to the masses, essentially becoming a myth. He says, “one of the stumbling blocks to peace could be the ‘hateful national narratives’ and the complications that ensue when people in the present appropriate the suffering in the past, often mistakenly.”
- "OK, you got chops, now get out of the way of the content… "
Larry Cebula at the Northwest History blog explores an interactive map of Brooklyn, but considers the problems with a Flash based site.
- Children and Youth in History
Children and Youth in History, a product of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and the University of Missouri–Kansas City, investigates history’s youth—their lives, perspectives, and consequently how they’ve shaped the lives of today’s youth and societal perceptions of them. Resources include web site reviews, a database of primary sources, thematic case studies, and teaching modules.
- Training Guides for Online Resources
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, publishers of the online journal History Compass and Blackwell Reference Online, has released two free online tutorials for those products. The History Compass is a peer-reviewed journal that covers all fields of history. Its tutorial can be found here: www.brainshark.com/wiley/compass. The Blackwell Reference Online is an online library giving instant access to scholarship across the humanities and social sciences. Its tutorial can be found here: www.brainshark.com/wiley/BRO.
- In Love with A. Lincoln
In the quirky-fun category we have this illustrated look at Lincoln from Maria Kalman on her New York Times blog. Hat tip.
- Barbie Turns 50
The Encyclopedia Britannica blog interviews M.G. Lord, author and Barbie expert, about Barbie’s 50th birthday, which took place on Monday.
- Looking Into the Past
Using images from the Library of Congress’ Flickrstream, Jason Powell merges past and present in a unique photography experiment. Hat tip.
History in Hard Times
We continue our look at “History in Hard Times,” started in the last edition of What We’re Reading,” with the following links:
- Mary Dudziak offers an interesting survey of incipient problems in the job market for legal historians, in “Grad school and Joint Programs in a Down Economy.” Meanwhile, the anonymous historian blogging at "I Used to Be Disgusted, Now I Try to Be Amused" objects that the most recent AHA report on the job market downplayed the problems. Ironically, perhaps, the New York Times uses the same article used in the AHA report to discuss problems in the academic job market in a recent article.
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Arnita Jones, Jessica Pritchard, Pillarisetti Sudhir, and Robert B. Townsend