Archives to Street
As archives turn to VodCasts, cell phone tours, iTunesU, Flckr, Facebook, etc. history is being projected onto everyday environments. At the New-York Historical Society, the barriers to the primary sources have come down, as people deploy materials in virtual ways that take the historical imagery and objects back to their original urban contexts. For example, the ability to tune in to handheld devices, means that we could take our exploration of slavery in the North to the actual streets of downtown Manhattan where the hidden sites of slavery, freedom and the underground railroad still exist. Only with the imaginative addition of these historical images, can we add that history back into the cityscape, in small bites that provide a starting point for further explorations. So, I see public history's future as one of a wider public and variety of uses that spread the history around public space -- not just the museums and documentary sources of memory. Producing and exchanging history digitally is sure to revitalize the public history field, and waking up the museums, historical societies and heritage sites.
-- Kathleen Hulser, public historian
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Kathleen Hulser, "Archives to Street." Forward Capture: Imagine the Future of Public History, Item #12 (accessed May 19 2013, 6:53 am)