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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09 / 21 / 12

Privacy: The Archivist’s Dilemma

Owners and custodians of archives collections often find themselves on the horns of a dilemma: the collections exist for researchers to use, yet they may contain information that should remain private. How then, does an archivist resolve this conflict so that the interests of the repository, the records creators, and the researcher are legally and… 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 / 02 / 12

Effective Commemoration: The Changing Approach to Observing the Civil War

As the Civil War Sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary enters its second year, we have noted significant differences between this observance and the war’s Centennial. These changes demonstrate a shift from national to local commemoration and from a celebratory view of the war to one cognizant of its toll and its multifaceted meaning. Through our work with… Read more »

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08 / 22 / 11

Safeguarding the Past: Planning a Company Archives

Developing an archival program can be a daunting task—especially when the concept of “archives” is often equated with “storing old files.” However, in an era of information overload and employee turnover, companies can have a distinct competitive advantage if they efficiently maintain institutional knowledge in an archives. Why have a corporate archives? A functioning corporate… 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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02 / 28 / 11

Interpretation, Imagination, and the Art of Historical Writing

We are a society that distrusts historical writing. Preoccupation with the past is a weakness — rugged individualists look to the future. “Revisionism” invites contempt. The past is behind us and should stay put: how can there be a “new” interpretation?  But we delight in a good story nonetheless. Whether in conversation or on the… Read more »

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