02 / 07 / 14

The Story of the Real Monuments Men Continues

At the end of January my wife and I enjoyed the privilege of attending an advance screening of The Monuments Men at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The movie tells an important and poignant story in an engaging manner while communicating significant elements with historical authenticity and nuance. Enhancing the cinematic experience was a… Read more »

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09 / 23 / 13

Notes from the Field: The Art of Crafting a FOIA Request

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is yet more proof of the adage “no good deed goes unpunished.” Though intended to facilitate greater transparency in government, as those who have submitted a FOIA request can attest, the process can be maddeningly opaque. Enacted in 1966, FOIA (5 U.S.C. § 552) established the public’s statutory right… Read more »

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09 / 21 / 12

Time and Space: Interpreting History through GIS Mapping

GIS mapping is a powerful way to make history come to life. Combining geographic information system (GIS) data with historical information, may serve to: Present historical evidence in its precise geographical context, Visually convey geographic changes over time, or Tell engaging stories from a geohistorical perspective. Visually illustrating change over time in this way is… Read more »

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03 / 19 / 12

Is Google Making You Fat? Tips for Conducting “Lean and Mean” Online Historical Research

The amount of online content continues to grow exponentially, making the Internet an indispensable tool in historical research. Clay Johnson, online database expert and author of the cleverly written book The Information Diet, contends that with so much readily available online data, it is critical to make informed choices, maintaining a “healthy diet” of information… Read more »

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03 / 14 / 11

Notes from the Field: Mapping History with Sanborn Maps

For a historian, a good map can be a gold mine of valuable information. Beyond road names or topographical features, maps can show the historical arrangements of buildings, property owners, and even the location of a specific furnace in an industrial plant. Few maps do this better than Sanborn fire insurance maps, which depict the… Read more »

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