history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

Questions Spark History

I recently caught a ride with a museum colleague to a meeting. During our journey, my colleague made an observation about me that surprised me. He said, “You ask good questions.” And my first thought was, doesn’t everyone ask good questions? I very much subscribe to the belief that there are no dumb questions. Questions come naturally to human beings, with toddlers asking, “Why?” or “What’s this?” incessantly. Questions are a sign of curiosity, and…

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history history relevance practical history purpose of history using history

History Sells: NOLA

Do you remember travelogues? Maybe I should be asking if you are old enough to remember travelogues because they haven’t been a thing for decades. When I was a high schooler in the 1980s, travelogues were events wherein people who had gone on trips to exotic places would bring back slides and present them with commentary for a public audience. This was at a time when PowerPoint and digital slide decks didn’t exist, so these…

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history history relevance practical history using history

Can We Have Historic Preservation Levels, Too?

As so often happens with blog posts, a number of little things come together to make a much bigger topic. Such is the case with today’s post. It started with a National Register nomination I was reading, was further reinforced by the mention of a local building in a city document, then developed into a full-fledged puzzlement followed by a really big question. Historic Structures with Non-Historic Additions I sit on the Minnesota State Review…

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