Related to last week’s discussion

I noticed this article and thought I’d post it on our site. This is exactly what we were talking about last week. Even though the illegal artifact was purchased for an exorbitant amount, Spain wasn’t required to purchase it back.

“Today’s repatriation is an example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement partners from around the world work together in the effort to ensure that stolen and looted priceless cultural objects like this are returned to their rightful owner,” said ICE director John Morton.

Artifacts dated late 15th-early 16th century
are displayed on September 15, 2011 in
Florence, Italy. A 16th century religious
tapestry stolen from a Spanish cathedral
in 1979 and sold at auction three years
ago for $369,000 was returned to Spain on
Wednesday by the US customs service.

Reading Recommendations

Here is one of my favorite blogs: It is edited by two fairly young histories, has numerous contributors, and focuses on American Religious history. It’s quite good at interpreting the religious meanings and significance of current events. One of my favorite threads is called “know your archives” and it provides great information for younger scholars making their first archive visit:

Reading Recommendations

I am not quite sure if we are supposed to post links regarding public history, historic preservation, or history in general, so here is an odd selection of history-related links that I have found interesting lately (or for a while):

1) Preservation Nation’s Places That Matter

–> This is not really a reading, but the National Trust for Historic Preservation website has a map where you can plug in your location and find local preservation projects that are ongoing or in need of being started. A drawback is that even though you may plug in a specific zip code, the lists seem to be clustered around more general geographic areas, so you have to really search to find city-specific projects. (Here is one I found for Boise:

2) “A Summary View”: Blog of the Jefferson Library

–> I will admit that I am a bit obsessed with Thomas Jefferson (I may or may not have an historical crush on him…) so I find this blog administered by Monticello’s Jefferson Library interesting. The contributors do things such as comment on current Jefferson-related topics of interest and debunk the rampantly circulating myths about our third president ( Monticello of course has vast resources to be able to support all types of projects, but I think that a blog is a great idea that other historical associations could adopt to add to their current projects and increase their publicity.

3) “Times to Remember, Places to Forget” by Daniel Gilbert of the NewYork Times

–> Finally, here is a short article that I love which reminds me why I care about remembering history and preserving places. It laments the rise of the shopping mall and simultaneous demise of unique localities in classic “grumpy-old-woman” fashion, of which I find myself increasingly supportive.

Public history round-up

I just wanted to share a few (admittedly disconnected) bits of public history I’ve stumbled across around the web:

Remember the Triangle Fire may not in itself be a particularly stunning or easy to navigate website, but it offers a wealth of links to organizations marking the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory tragedy. (The factory burned 100 years ago this Friday, March 25.) Women’s historians, fire safety organizations, and labor unions are but a few of the groups marking the event in their own ways. It makes for a nice case study in the ways the public and the academy shape and participate in public history.

Here’s something to brighten your day (as seen at Retroist):

You can read a brief history of the Oregon Trail game–it started out as a board game 40 years ago and has sold over 65 million copies. (It’s still a fun game, but some days I can’t get the mobile version’s damn soundtrack out of my head.)

Scripto allows members of the public to volunteer as transcribers of analog documents. It’s an interesting crowdsourcing model. (And–surprise!–it’s a project of the Center for History and New Media.)

Place Matters offers a toolkit to help the public “identify, promote, and protect” places people care about.

What public history resources or projects have you discovered lately?

Some resources

Photo shared by Okinawa Soba, and used under a Creative Commons license

Here are some resources I mentioned in class, as well as some others on the interpretation of African-American history at museums and cultural sites.  (Note: I have almost all of these print resources and would be happy to share them with you if you stop by my office.)

Slave Cabin Sleepovers: Honoring the African Holocaust and Our Ancestors or Trivializing their Memory?

Larry Cebula’s Open Letter to Curators of the “Baron Von Munchausen” Historic Home . . .and the home manager’s response–definitely worth a read!

Eric Gable, “How We Study History Museums: Or Cultural Studies at Monticello” in New Museum Theory and Practice: An Introduction. Ed. Janet Marstine. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006. pp. 109-128.

Jennifer Eichstedt, “Museums and (In)Justice” in Museum Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Hugh Genoways. Lanham, MD: Altamira, 2006. pp. 127-37

Christy S. Coleman, “African American Museums in the Twenty-first Century” in Museum Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Hugh Genoways. Lanham, MD: Altamira, 2006. pp. 151-160.

Lisa G. Corrin, “Mining the Museum: An Installation Confronting History” in Reinventing the Museum: History and Contemporary Perspectives on the Paradigm Shift. Ed. Gail Anderson. Landham, MD: Altamira, 2004. pp. 248-256

James W. Loewen, “Exhibiting Sundown Towns.”  Museums and Social Issues 2, No. 1 (Spring 2007): pp. 57-76.

Dolores Hayden, “Rediscovering an African American Homestead” in her book The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995. pp. 168-87

Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia; definitely check out the curator’s message, “The Garbage Man: Why I Collect Racist Objects.”