Some happenings around the history and museum webs for your delectation:
This year’s Cliopatria Awards were announced at AHA this year–but not by a senior scholar at a banquet, but by a grad student, at a tweetup. Nicely played, Cliopatricians. Congrats to all the winners! No public history bloggers won this year (in contrast to last year’s awesome victory for our own Larry Cebula) but let’s just consider blogging as a public history praxis, shall we?
An interesting article on infrastructure history in Toronto from the new site Active History, which seeks “to help connect historians with the public, policy makers and the media.” This dovetails nicely with NCPH’s increased emphasis on public history as “putting history to work in the world.” I’ll keep my eye on Active History.
Terrific post by Leslie M-B about museum membership and appealing to visitors who don’t mind the “cello side.”
Mark Sample is provocative about archiving and calls for a celebration or cataloguing (but not preserving) of “fugitive texts.” We in the 3D museum world know that we can’t keep everything (for one, we don’t have space, or the resources to care for every thing in the world properly) but we do collect ephemeral artifacts, the one of a kind and “collectible” as well as the ordinary. That we cannot be universal or even encyclopedic is not a cause for despair (we don’t want a museum the size of the world, like Borges’ map) but an opportunity for reflection and renewed focus on our public mission and responsibilities. Also: having seen the dilution of “curator” as describing everyone engaged in an activity involving informed choices, I fear “archivist” being similarly taken up.
I’m having a terrible time deciding whether to go to AAM or Museums and the Web this year; what about you? Please help me figure out which to attend before registration gets too expensive for both.
Updates on Haiti cultural institutions from Kate via the Blue Shield, an international organization I’m please to know exists. They’re the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross, dedicated to preserving heritage materials in disasters and armed conflicts. Information will be forthcoming about how cultural information folks can help out, in the meantime do help with other basic needs for relief after the earthquake; I donated to the Mennonite Central Committee.