AHA Today

What We’re Reading: July 1, 2010 Edition

AHA Staff | Jul 1, 2010

London LivesIn the news this week, the Civil War Preservation Trust has sent a letter (with the support of 270 historians) asking Pennsylvania to reject a gaming resort near Gettysburg, Congress is meeting to discuss the National Historical Publications and Records Commission reauthorization bill, the National Science Foundation is seeking research proposals related to the Gulf oil spill, and the American Library Association rejects* an IRB resolution. We also link to a number of interesting online resources this week: the new London Lives site and the Newberry Library’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. For teachers, read about the rewriting of history books and the complexity of military history courses. We also take a look back at the history of Supreme Court nominations, the first Japanese tour group, video of Market Street in San Francisco before and after the 1905 quake, and a 112 year old sunken ship. Finally, explore an image from 1937, from photographer Eadweard Muybridge, and from the Korean War.


  • Nation’s Historians Speak Out Against Proposed Gettysburg Casino
    The Civil War Preservation Trust recently announced that in a letter to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, “more than 270 American historians unite to urge rejection of proposed gaming resort one-half mile from Gettysburg National Military Park.” The AHA and National Coalition for History have supported this effort.
  • Contact Congress Today on NHPRC Reauthorization Bill!
    Today, July 1, 2010, the House will be holding a business meeting on reauthorizing the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) at a $20 million level through fiscal year 2014. The National Coalition for History urges historians to contact House subcommittee members and ask them to support the bill.
  • SBE Asks for Research Proposals Related to the Gulf Oil Spill
    The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) seeks research proposals related to the Gulf Oil Spill. Just last year the SBE selected Myron Gutmann as their new head.
  • American Library Association Council III
    According to a couple blogs, the Council of the American Library Association considered and then tabled a resolution* that "Supports the American Historical Association in its position on oral history IRB exemption" (read text of the proposed resolution). We certainly hope they will reconsider the decision and support our efforts after further review.


  • London Lives
    The London Lives site offers free access to “240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.” Hat tip.
  • Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
    With the completion of Georgia, the Newberry Library’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries is now complete, allowing students and researchers to view the internal boundaries of all 50 states from 1629 to 2000.


Looking Back

  • Scales of Justice: A History of Supreme Court Nominations
    BackStory with the American History Guys latest podcast takes a look at the history of Supreme Court nominations.
  • The First Japanese Tour Group
    Despite tension between the two countries, a group of members from the Japanese embassy came to America “to present the recently signed U.S.-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce to President Buchanan” in 1860. The new exhibit, “Samurai in New York,” in the Museum of the City of New York tells the story of their visit and the response from Americans at the time—the good, the bad, and the cynical.
  • The Great SF Quake, Split Screen
    A split-screen view of videos from Market Street in San Francisco in 1905 and after the April 18, 1906 earthquake.
  • Sunken Treasure In Lake Michigan: Century-Old Ship
    Having sunk 112 years ago on Lake Michigan, the L.R. Doty was as good as gone, until recently, that is, as a group of divers explored the sunken ruins 300 feet below the surface. Brendon Baillod, the Great Lakes maritime historian, explains that while the historic ship is “considered an archaeological site and a gravesite,” it will remain untouched because “it’s expensive to preserve…and there’s really limited interest in [sunken ships] once they come to the surface." Listen to the story from NPR’s All Things Considered.


  • Five Boys: A Postscript 
    In his original article, “Five Boys: The Story of a Picture,” Ian Jack dissects a photograph snapped on July 9, 1937 before a cricket game in England. “The picture,” Jack explains, “exemplified the scandalous gulf between Britain’s rich and poor.” His follow-up article investigates the lesser-known story of two of the three the local boys: George Salmon and George Young.
  • Eadweard Muybridge, Thief of Animal Souls
    The Chronicle takes a look back at the work of photographer Eadweard Muybridge, who is currently featured in an exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C.
  • Remembering the Korean War, 60 years ago
    The Boston Globe Big Picture site remembers the Korean War through pictures.

Contributors:  Elisabeth Grant, Chris Hale, Arnita A. Jones, Robert B. Townsend, and Lee White

*UPDATE: The ALA has clarified that they did not reject the resolution, rather it was referred to committee

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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