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: http://www.preservationnation.org/magazine/story-of-the-week/2006/what-the-basques-left.html)

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 (http://jeffersonlibrary.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/eternal-vigilance/). 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.

8 thoughts on “Reading Recommendations”

  1. I found two of these postings insightful. The first was the article on preserving Basque buildings. I had not come across this article even though I have worked on some Basque projects here in Boise. This will be helpful for my mobile project. I also liked the “preserving places that matter” site. From a cursory preview of this map it seems that most of the places worth preserving are east of the Mississippi River. I wonder if this is because there are simply more historic sites in this area or if westerners don’t appreciate their history as much?

  2. I really enjoyed the short article by by Daniel Gilbert. It reminded me of why I loved my trip to McCall last summer…no chain stores allowed. In the broader sense it makes traveling so much better when you can go somewhere and the same stores/restaurants/etc are not surrounding you.

  3. Interesting Jefferson website. I took a class where we either identified with John Adams or Jefferson, and despite Jefferson’s waffling on things like slavery and the Constitution, I tend to identify with him more.

  4. Daniel Gilbert’s article reminds me why I love my home town of Council, Idaho. It never changes! Oddly enough the same reasons why I wanted to leave it are the same reasons why I love going back. When my life gets hectic here in the big city and I feel my stress level increasing, it feels good to go back there, sit on a bar stool in my favorite hometown bar and relax.

  5. Well Anna, you have inspired me to come out of the historical founding fathers’ closet and also admit my love for Thomas Jefferson. His list of accomplishments are endless. I liked this site and the discussion concerning the validity of quotes attributed to Jefferson made me think about all the “tea party” folks and other like minded individuals who are spouting “Jefferson” quotes non stop here lately. I suppose they aren’t really concerned with historical accuracy though!!

    1. Jefferson seems to be able to be quoted by any side in any situation. I see him as more of a liberal, while my own father (who may or may not be a Tea Party supporter–I am too scared to ask!) is fond of quoting him to me to support various conservative platforms. Whatever Jefferson was, he was certainly a complex and interesting (and often hypocritical) character. Maybe that’s why I like him so much!

  6. I really liked the blog by Monticello’s Jefferson Library, but as I read it I found myself questioning blogs in general. Ever since I read the Last American Pirate I am waiting for someone to say “Gotcha!” I’m sure that this is not what the Monticello’s blog is doing, I’m just super paranoid now.
    I enjoyed “The Times to Remember, Places to Forget.” It provides another example for me on what makes places special, and how do people’s sense of place evolve. Thanks!

  7. I agree that maintaining blogs are a great way for history organizations to keep people updated on their current projects, and to reach out to the rest of the history community. The Jefferson Library’s blog is an excellent example of that.

    I also enjoyed the “Places That Matter” site, and the article on surviving Basque structures. By discussing other parts of the country, the article definitely gave me a newfound appreciation for what we have here in Boise.

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