December 2008

Does a spirit of generosity dwell within you every day of the year?  Or are some pecuniary gifts suddenly burning a hole in your pocket? (“Mom, I want to donate my Christmas money to the county historical society!”)  Do you want to give some donations before the year runs out?  Did you forget to get me a gift?  In any case, here are some historical and museum organizations that could use your help at the end of the year.

Your local historical society:  municipal, county, state.  You know who they are.  

The National Trust:  has been doing amazing work this year to preserve historic places and our collective memory.  Give back to them.

The historic institution I work for.  Nuff said.

The International Cryptozoology Museum:  Amazing collection of cryptozoological artifacts curated by Loren Coleman in Maine;  currently having serious problems with the IRS.  Please help out thusly:

Save The Museum! Help out if you can. Build a crypto-future. Donations, via a check, money order, or, if outside the USA, an international postal money order sent to the “International Cryptozoology Museum” supports the research and saving of the collection.

Please send contributions to: International Cryptozoology Museum c/o Loren Coleman PO Box 360 Portland, ME 04112. You may also merely use PayPal to


The Archivist of the US, Allen Weinstein, resigned.

The Brooklyn Museum started 1stfans, an amazing “socially networked membership program.”

Larry wrote about historic facial hair in the state of Washington.

Bill Turkel offered a winter reading list for humanist makers.

The National Trust’s Preservation Nation continued to be one of the web’s best history blogs (which is why I nominated it for a Cliopatria Award).

My alma mater, Oberlin College, is still looking for a College Archivist.

A registrar’s nightmare: a piece of art was destroyed on its way to Miami (okay, this happened last week) (h/t)

As for me this week:  in researching typewriters, I’ve become increasingly appalled by “keychoppers” (which, however, would be a great name for a band), and have become increasingly impressed by museums on twitter.

Historians of medicine! Want to work with fascinating medical collections? Perhaps you should apply for this Archives Technician job at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Hurry up! It closes today.

Now that we have a new administration coming into office, we may see a new direction for federal history and culture organizations, or at least some new faces.  Bruce Cole, the head of the NEH, has announced his resignation as of January.  He will become director of the fledgling American Revolution Center in Valley Forge.  Cole, a Bush appointee, was confirmed twice to become the longest-serving head of the organization–he originated some great projects like the digital humanities initiative.  In related news from the National Coalition for History is the composition of Obama transition team for our federal cultural heritage organizations, NARA, NEH, NEA, and IMLS.  It includes Bill Ivey, the folklorist and former NEA head, as well as some tech experts to review the NARA transition.  Any speculations on who might be appointed to fill the top spot at NEH?