AHA Today

What We’re Reading: August 6, 2009 Edition

AHA Staff | Aug 6, 2009

Phineas Gage FlickrNew this week, the National Humanities Alliance has sent out their “Monthly Policy Digest” with updates from Washington (legislation, nominations, and more).  Also, the Public Interest Declassification Board takes another look at federal records policies. From the museums, learn about the National Archives’ 75th anniversary (and all the related events they have lined up), or check out the National Museum of American History’s post about preserving personal archives.  The National History Education Clearinghouse has posted new videos on TAH grants, while Flickr continues to be a place of discovery. Finally, just for fun, hear about John Quincy Adams’ new twitter feed, read about shark attacks in 1916, and discover a forgotten chimney and learn why some historians want to protect it.


  • National Humanities Alliance – Updates
    On July 31st the NHA sent out their “Monthly Policy Digest” with updates on significant nominations, service initiatives, legislation, meetings in D.C., and new grants.
  • Wrapping up the Declassification Policy Forum
    The Public Interest Declassification Board wraps up its online discussion of federal records policies and links to summaries of their own recommendations and the comments received.


  • National Archives 75th Anniversary
    The National Archives continues its 75th anniversary celebration in September with special lectures, programs, and films.  These events are free and open to the public. See a list of events on the National Archives’ News & Events page.
  • Preserve-your-own
    The National Museum of American History’s “O say can you see?” blog takes a look at Earl Shaffer’s (“the first man to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in a season”) diary and explains how everyone can take steps to preserve important family archives and documentation.

Video and Images

For Fun

  • John Quincy Adams tweeting thanks to Mass. society
    Was John Quincy Adams tweeting ahead of his time? Adams’ diary entries are so concise that the Massachusetts Historical Society began posting them through Twitter yesterday. Check it out at http://twitter.com/jqadams_mhs
  • 1916 Shark Attack Diaries
    This week kicks off the Discovery channel’s famous Shark Week, a favorite for many! Few, however, know about the infamous shark attacks on the Jersey shore in July of 1916. Visit the Discovery channel online to peruse diaries from the violent month from shark attack victims and their loved ones.
  • The Forgotten Chimney
    Hidden behind brush in the town of Niagara Falls, New York, stands a two-story brick chimney that historians believe was once attached to the French barracks at Fort du Portage during the French and Indian War. Read about the chimney’s journey through history and the local historians fighting hard to preserve and protect it.

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Arnita A. Jones, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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