history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian using history

History, Meh. Why Bother?

I finished reading Sam Wineburg‘s “Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone)” and I’ve walked away scratching my head. I went into the book thinking Wineburg, who is is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and History at Stanford University and has written a number of books on history education, was going to make a resounding case for why it’s still important to learn historical thinking even if you have all the history…

Continue reading

history history relevance museums

Libraries Versus Museums

A recent CityLab article caught my attention: Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data? A quote from the article: “As far as how private and public data should be handled, there isn’t really a strong model out there,” says Curtis Rogers, communications director for the Urban Library Council (ULC), an association of leading libraries across North America. “So to have the library as the local institution that is the most trusted, and…

Continue reading

history history relevance practical history purpose of history Uncategorized using history

History Is Infrastructure

The museum where I work sits on a high bank of the Mississippi River overlooking the confluence of a creek with a bridge. The riverbank is severely eroding and we are looking for natural solutions to that erosion so as not to endanger the museum building. In discussing this erosion with someone who deals with protecting the river, it was suggested that we talk about how this erosion will affect the bridge. Why? Because governmental…

Continue reading