What We’re Reading: August 25, 2011 Edition
In the news this week, the East Coast earthquake hits the AHA and historic buildings in D.C., Rolling Stone investigates the Securities and Exchange Commission’s document destruction, Footnote.com rebrands itself, and the Organization of American Historians posts articles on the Civil War. Also, read Eric Foner’s review of American Crucible, learn about the design process for the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and find advice for chairing a department from Tina Fey. Finally, learn about stolen Lincoln documents that have been returned, help the Smithsonian chose Spanish language works to be digitized, and discover the records of Old Bailey.
- Earthquake in Washington, D.C. Causes Cracks in Washington Monument
The biggest news at AHA headquarters (situated on Capitol Hill) this week was the East Coast earthquake. AHA staff were literally and figuratively shaken up. Luckily, headquarters didn’t sustain any damage, but other historic buildings, including the Washington Monument and National Cathedral, did.
- Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?
Last week we posted the National Archives’ statement addressing the allegation that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had been destroying documents it wasn’t authorized to destroy. For one perspective on this situation read this article from the Politics section of Rolling Stone.
- Footnote.com is now Fold3
Footnote.com has rebranded itself Fold3 and will be focusing mainly on military records. Kate Theimer at ArchivesNext is left with more questions than answers, and she’s not alone.
- The Civil War at 150
The Organization of American Historians announced this week they’ll be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by posting past articles on the conflict from the OAH Magazine of History. So far they’ve put up “Voters in Blue: The Citizen Soldiers of the Civil War” and links to three volumes of the magazine April 2011 (on the origins of the war), January 2007 (Lincoln and the Constitution), October 2007 (Lincoln, Race, and Slavery), and January 2009 (The Lincoln Legacy).
- Designing the King Memorial
Clayborne Carson, Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute and Professor of History at Stanford University, attended the 1963 March on Washington. Decades later he was asked to offer insight to the designers of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C., which opened to the public this past Monday.
- Inhuman Bondage: On Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights
Eric Foner, the Dewitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University (and a former president of the AHA), reviews Robin Blackburn’s new book on the history of slavery, The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights, in his article "Inhuman Bondage: On Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights," from the Nation of August 29-September 5, 2011. Pointing out that one of the book’s virtues was "its demonstration that slavery must be at the center of any account of Western ascendancy," Foner contends that it is "one of the finest one-volume histories of the rise and fall of modern slavery."
- Lessons From Bossypants: Women and Leadership
When Janine Utell was elected as chair of her department she found helpful advice in the Women in Higher Education newsletter, a Profhacker post by Jeffrey McClurken, and in Tina Fey’s book Bossypants. Hat tip.
- Missing Lincoln Documents returned to National Archives
The National Archives has posted a video on its YouTube channel about two documents, a letter from Union surgeons to President Lincoln and his response, that were stolen and now have been returned to the archives.
- Smithsonian Libraries to Digitize and Convert Spanish Language Publications for e-Readers
Smithsonian Libraries has hired a “virtual intern” and will digitize Spanish language works to be read online and through e-Readers. Is there a title you’d to see digitized? They’re taking suggestions.
- As the Gavels Fell: 240 Years at Old Bailey
The New York Times reports on the records of Old Bailey, a criminal court in London, and how a new online archive of its records is offering new insights. We noted a similar article on this project in What We’re Reading last month.
Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, and Pillarisetti Sudhir
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
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