Can you imagine the future of public history?

Many things have changed since public-minded historians began using the term "public history" to describe themselves, back in the late 1970s. And there have been continuities as well as changes. New technologies make new kinds of public historical practice possible, while raising new questions about the very nature of preservation and material culture. Historians face economic and environmental challenges on many levels. It's possible to make a case that in a volatile, globalized world, public historical perspectives are needed more than ever. It's equally possible to make a case that public history looks nothing like it used to, and that people in many areas of the field need to reconceptualize what they're doing and how they do it.

The National Council on Public History is celebrating its 30th year in 2009-2010, and we want to hear your ideas about where you think public history is headed from here. In conjunction with the NCPH's 30th anniversary celebration and a conference session organized by Teresa DeFlitch at the April 2009 NCPH conference, we're presenting this site as a place where anyone with an interest in public history can contribute thoughts about the future of the field. Be imaginative, be bold, be critical--any and all thoughts are welcome as we pool our collective visions.

To contribute to the Forward Capture project, simply click on Share Your Vision on the homepage. The form will guide you through the process. While we are looking for brief narrative descriptions of about 500 words (or simply a string of interesting phrases!), we encourage you to participate in any way you feel inspired. We hope to transform some of these entries into visual presentations (word clouds, etc.) for display at the NCPH Annual Meeting in April 2009 and encourage lively and productive conversation.

This site was created by the Center for History and New Media, in collaboration with the National Council on Public History. Feel free to send questions and/or comments regarding Forward Capture to forwardcapture@gmail.com.