Thursday, February 26, 2009

Forward Capture: A History with Value

Forward Capture is a project created by the Center for History and New Media and the National Council on Public History in the United States. Together they are soliciting thoughts from public historians on where the future of public history. It's a great example of creating opportunities to participate in a larger sharing of knowledge and the results will form the backbone of a larger presentation at the NCPH annual meeting in April 2009.

If you haven't yet done so please make your own contribution to the site. I've posted my own entry below that tries to tackle the issue of value and history which I think is really important. And fortunately if you read my blog, occasionally, you will know that I don't normally talk like I'm staring into the sky.

The Future of Public History:

Public Historians that embrace history, and history that embraces public historians.

The future of public history is a future where history has value and is valued. For history to be important in society is has to have some value – whether it tells someone about their own personal past, the society they live in, or the events that they face. Public Historians need to serve as gatherers and aggregators, using skill sets developed through sound research and analysis, to share the value of the work done by academic and local historians with an audience of informed and interested citizens.

A field that encourages high school students to study history, encourages graduates to take history programs in college and university, and encourages university and college graduates to continue working in the field – whether through academia, education, museums, archives or publications.

A modern inviting history that is urban and edgy in style and content. Content and presentation should be fresh and bold, that utilizes the style already relevant in other fields.

A participatory history that invites each citizen to provide their own story. Together these stories provide details and life while also illuminating the larger patterns that historians research each and every day. A public history that embraces the ability of new technology, life forward capture has, to include, invite, and reshape the role of the historian.

1 comment:

Jon said...

I like the point about the fact that for history to be important to society it must have some value. I agree with that greatly and I like the idea that people should and can get involved by telling their own stories. A great deal can be learned from people's stories and ideas. Actual witnesses are a very good source.