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On Doing Local History


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Dwight Pitcaithley Introduction Chapter 1:Local History's Past Coda to Chapter 1: Revising What is Held as True Chapter 2: Thinking about Local History Coda to Chapter 2: Censorship Chapter 3: The Subjects of Local History Coda to Chapter 3: Journalists and Historians Chapter 4: Clio and Her Sisters Chapter 5: How to Write a Congregational History Chapter 6: Researching Local History Coda to Chapter 6: When Being Right is not Good Enough Chapter 7: Giving Back Coda to Chapter 7: The Great Document Exchange Chapter 8: The Local Historian Coda to Chapter 8: Adult Local History Workshops Chapter 9: The Past that was Yesterday Coda to Chapter 9: One Last Thing About the Author Index

About the Author

Carol Kammen has been writing about doing local history for many years. The first edition of this book came out in 1985; this edition is greatly pruned and expanded. She has edited The Encyclopedia of Local History (two editions) for Alta Mira Press and AASLH and has written editorials for History News since 1995. In addition she has written a history of her county, of the City in which she lives, and Cornell: Glorious to View (2003) and Part & Apart: The African American Experience at Cornell, 1865-1945 (2008) and edited First Person Cornell: Student's Letters, Diaries, Email and Blogs (2006). She has also written two-dozen dramatic presentations using local history, including Between the Lines, Peaches and Bird, The Language of War and others and writes a history column for her local newspaper. She lives in Ithaca, New York, previously taught at Cornell University, and serves as the Tompkins County Historian.


From the foreword: My students were captivated not only by the manner in which Kammen made local history interesting (the concept of local history being something quite foreign to those recent high school graduates), but also the style with which she presented her information. [The second edition of] On Doing Local History provided them a logically constructed window through which they could view and understand the nature of history. Because Kammen has such an obvious gift for conceptualizing and writing about local history, my students departed my class with a much greater appreciation for the idea of history and how history is constructed and used, locally and nationally. This third edition of On Doing Local History contains all of the informative essays of the previous versions. Readers will additionally benefit from a new compelling chapter on doing ecclesiastical history and an inspired meditation on the public benefits of encouraging Clio to interact with other muses of the arts and humanities. She proposes here that if an understanding of history is enhanced by the inclusion of art and music, then clearly the public presentation of music and art can be enriched when accompanied by historical context. Our sense of history- local, public, and general-is equally enhanced by the intelligent analysis of Clio's profession found in On Doing Local History. -- Dwight T. Pitcaithley, New Mexico State University

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