What We’re Reading: February 4, 2010 Edition
In our roundup this week we have links to a look back on the life of Howard Zinn, news of a new children’s history museum, steps to open a Ulysses S. Grant library, a request for input from the National Archives, a look at combining history and video games, and new evidence in the history of surgery. Then, some digital history: the BBC and British museum join forces in a podcast, Priya Chhaya describes “Historian 2.0,” a blog series about the digital archives of every state continues, and the University of Chicago Press releases this month’s free e-book. Next, explore aerial images of New York from the 1920s, images from National Archives now in Flickr, and a story from NPR on a 1848 image of Phineas Gage. Finally, we finish up with a few links just for fun: Holden Caulfield’s A People’s History of the United States, a quiz on your knowledge of the 220 State of the Union addresses, a snarky 1905 letter from Mark Twain, and a look at currency across time and place.
- Howard Zinn: A Public Intellectual Who Mattered
Henry Giroux reflects on the impact of the late historian and activist, Howard Zinn.
- Historical Society to Open a Children’s Museum
In November 2011, the DiMenna Children’s History Museum in New York City will open its doors with exhibits that engage and inspire today’s youth with stories from history’s youth.
- Ulysses S. Grant library in St. Louis possible
While the George W. Bush Presidential Library is still seeking a home, there is a move afoot to establish a library for one of his predecessors–Ulysses S. Grant. Fundraising for a dedicated library is now under way in St. Louis.
- NARA calls for public comments on how it can be more “open”
Kate Theimer at ArchiveNext points to a recent request for advice from the National Archives, which is currently developing a new "Open Government Plan." Comments are due by March 19th.
- 5 Teaching Tips for Professors—From Video Games
The Chronicle takes a look at the educational aspects of video games, like “complex problem solving and collaborative learning,” For history the idea that “stories are powerful motivators” comes into play, and the Chronicle looks at lessons learned from the Florida Virtual School, where a “semester-long course in American history in the form of a 3-D online video game” is taught.
- Evidence of Stone Age amputation forces rethink over history of surgery
New evidence reveals that our Stone Age ancestors had a much better grasp of medicine than we originally thought.
- A History of the World in 100 objects
The BBC and the British Museum have collaborated to make a radio program, available online, that looks at 100 objects from the British Museum. “The programmes will travel through two million years from the earliest object in the collection to retell the history of humanity through the objects we have made. Each week will be tied to a particular theme, such as ‘after the ice age’ or ‘the beginning of science and literature’.”
- Historian 2.0: Finding the Past Through Social Media
From podcasts, to Twitter, to blog posts and more, Priya Chhaya at the PreservationNation blog presents “a day in the life of a historian in the age of social media.”
- The Divided States #1: Pennsylvania Mania!
The Lazy Scholar has set out to “uncover the digital archives of each and every American state.” See his first two installments in this series: Pennsylvania and South Dakota.
- Get a free e-book from the University of Chicago Press
The University of Chicago Press is offering a free e-book version of The Nature of the Book. Every month the UCP plans to offer a free e-book. The book uses the Adobe Digital Reader, which seems more reader-friendly than a number of other programs out there. Hat tip.
- 1924 aerial map of NYC
Kottke points to an interactive map from NYC.gov that shows aerial photos from 1924. He suggests visitors, “Check out all the piers, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the old baseball stadiums, the [Lower East Side] (and everywhere else they built housing projects), Penn Station, and the skyscraperless Midtown.”
- The U.S. National Archives joins the Commons!
The U.S. National Archives has joined Flickr and has begun posting historical photographs and documents, public works images, Civil War photographs, and more.
- The Face Of A Famous Skull Found On Flickr
“In 1848, Phineas Gage became a medical miracle” when he survived a freak accident as an iron rod blew through his skull while blasting rock to make way for a railroad. It was thought there was no photographic trail to preserve Gage’s tale, until Jack and Beverly Wilgus scanned and posted a “daguerreotype of a man holding a metal rod” with a missing eye to Flickr. Listen to the story (which we first heard about last August) from NPR’s All Things Considered.
- Holden’s History of the United States
From Historiann we find a link to a blog post that answers the question, “What if Holden Caulfield grew up and turned into Howard Zinn?”
- Quiz: State of the Union knowledge
CNN tests your knowledge of the past 220 State of the Union addresses.
- You’re an idiot of the 33rd degree
The always enjoyable Letters of Note blog has posted a 1905 letter from Mark Twain to a salesman who was hocking questionable elixirs.
- Funny Money: Unusual and Fascinating Currency
A look at currency across time and place.
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Arnita Jones, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
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