Some Sources for Ideas and Inspiration


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The posts here at New York History demonstrate the robustness of New York’s historical enterprise and the creativity and energy of people working in the field. But the posts also show the need for more leadership, coordination, resources, and new approaches. This post lists some sources from beyond New York that might provide useful perspectives for discussions about strengthening the historical enterprise in our state. (It is an expanded version of the list in my article in Public Historian last August.)

American Association of Museums/Center for the Future of Museums American Association of Museums/Center for the Future of Museums. Ongoing discussions and a useful report, Museums and Society, 2034: Trends and Potential Futures.

BBC History. Timelines, documents, photos, and videos on Ancient History, British History, World Wars, Historic Figures, Family History, Hands On History, History for Kids, On This Day)

Center for Creative Leadership. Publications on effective, transformational leadership.
Center for History and the New Media, George Mason University. Research, projects, and reports on use of digital media and information technology in history.
Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness, The Historical Thinking Project: Promoting Critical Historical Literacy for the 21st Century. Advocates building history education in the schools around six “Historical Thinking Concepts” including “Establish Historical Significance” and “Take Historical Perspectives.”

Chicago History Museum, Claiming Chicago, Shaping Our History, 2007. Claiming Chicago, Shaping Our History. Explains new mission to help people make meaningful personal connections to history, power of history to shape the future.

English Heritage. Described on the web site as “…the [British] Government’s statutory adviser on the historic environment and to encourage people to understand, value, care for and enjoy their historic environment.” Information on the value of historic sites and buildings and on how to measure the value of the “heritage sector.”
H-Connecticut. H-Net Network on Connecticut History, Culture, Family and Society. “…serves as a communications center and discussion forum for Connecticut’s history and heritage communities. Sponsored by the Office of the State Historian, H-Connecticut promotes the free exchange of ideas, as well as collaborative endeavors, among the state’s historians, educators, museum professionals, genealogists, preservationists, archivists, historical interpreters, and others interested in the history of the Nutmeg state.”

Historica-Dominion Institute (Canada). Multiple programs to promote Canadian history and culture, including The Canadian Encyclopedia and materials to engage teachers and young people.

The History Channel. Save Our History and other initiatives.

Institute for Museum and Library Services, The Future of Museums and Libraries: A Discussion Guide. 2009. Questions about the role and future of museums and libraries, resources, workforce, collaboration, and other issues

Leader to Leader Institute. Its mission is to “strengthen the leadership of the social sector” and it has useful journal, Leader to Leader, and other publications.

Museum 2.0. Explores museum applications of social media technology.

National Council on Public History, Off the Wall. Useful posts on exhibits and public history issues, but also valuable for its links to other useful public history blogs.

National Trust for Historic Preservation, Issues. Discussion of key issues such as heritage tourism and preservation and sustainable development. Also has advice on how to lobby for historic preservation.

National Trust for Historic Preservation/Heritage Tourism Program, Cultural Heritage Tourism. A resource for heritage tourism, defined on the site as “traveling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes historic, cultural and natural attractions.”

New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, New Zealand History Online. Information on New Zealand history produced by professional historians for a popular audience.

Ohio Historical Society, Exploring the Public Value of Ohio’s History. 2009. Survey and report explaining value for civic engagement, heritage tourism, environmental sustainability, and other public benefits.

Smithsonian 2.0. Discussions about “reimagining the Smithsonian in the Digital Age.”

Wisconsin Historical Society, Forward! This is Our History. Development/fundraising initiative coupled with planning to transform visitor engagement at historic sites, use of information technology, and other ways the Society approaches its work.

University of Virginia, Virginia Center for Digital History. Multiple digital history projects.

 

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Bruce Dearstyne

About Bruce Dearstyne

Dr. Bruce W. Dearstyne lives in Guilderland. Dearstyne is a former professor at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, where he is now an Adjunct Professor. Before joining the Maryland faculty, he held positions at the New York State Archives and the Office of State History. He is the author of The Spirit of New York: Sixteen Events That Changed History, forthcoming from SUNY Press early in 2015. He is also the author of Railroads and Railroad Regulation in New York State, 1900-1913 and joint author of New York: Yesterday and Today. He served as guest editor of a special issue of the journal Public Historian on “Strengthening the Management of State History: Issues, Perspectives, and Insights from New York” (August 2011). He also writes occasional essays on New York State history issues for the “Perspective” section of the Sunday Albany Times Union.

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