Posts Tagged DAR

Public History and Public Outreach

Jul 7th, 2015 Posted in Public History | no comment »

After reading the article, “Pictures to dream with: A public historian in the nursing home,” an NCPH Public History Commons posting, a whirlwind of ideas came to me. The article deals with a public historian using the history at their fingertips to engage a nursing home audience. As a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, one of my favorite things is our time spent with elderly veterans—caroling at Christmas at the VA Hospital, or meeting them as they leave or return from their visits to Washington, D.C. (on the Honor Flight), or serving at a local homeless shelter for veterans (MANA House). I also have long thought that D.A.R. would be a fantastic avenue for doing volunteer work at more senior centers, and maybe some chapters do that as well.
The author of the article writes, “Senior centers, nursing homes, and perhaps even hospital rooms are places public historians should think more about. These are places where resources at our disposal can, with a modest investment of time, meet important existing needs.” She’s absolutely right. They are also places where history is disappearing at a rapid rate. These seniors could also fill a need for public historians. For example, the Library of Congress uses Flikr to crowd source their photographs and get feedback from the public, who might know the when/where of an unknown photograph. (See here.) Many other archives and museums also do this, and other similar programs such as the Memory Project. (See the Arizona Memory Project, for example).  But consider that as the years keep going by, the audience that might have those answers is largely not tech-savvy and also probably not aware of where to look for such photos. Bringing them to these people is a way to possibly capture local history before it fades away. Think of the oral history that could be collected as the author shows her slide shows or the family history that could be captured from a sparked memory from one of these photos.

Like the author says in her other blog post, it may not solve large-scale problems, but I think it’s a great idea and a way to reach more people – and show more people – what public history is all about.

First blog on the new site and a new year

Jan 21st, 2014 Posted in Adams and Merry Descendants, Brunner and Sommer Descendants, Public History, Shaffer and Zirkle Descendants | no comment »

Jamboree Marketing Page button    (I wish I was going to be there! But I’ll be watching the webinars! Check out their webpage!)

 

I just started using Feedly to organize all the blogs I follow. Not that I have time to read any of them really, but at least now I have a list so I don’t have to say every time, “Now what was so-and-so’s blog site again?” I like that it syncs to Ipad and Iphone, so now when I am riding the light rail to school I can read blog updates. (Not that my ride is long enough to do much, I usually check Facebook and Twitter then, and only get through part of either!) Hopefully Feedly sticks around longer than some of the others I have used!

 

This is going to be my year to get organized and figure out time management. So far I am failing miserably at the time management resolution. Getting better at the organization part, though! It’s hard when you have cute furry distractions, though.

I am hopeful that the #52Ancestors challenge will keep me on track for working on my genealogy, and in turn, because I have to blog weekly about that, I hope that it will keep me in line with all the other things I need to be doing.

 

I am also working on materials for my Shaffer family reunion this summer. I am not the organizer, so I really don’t know what to expect, but I plan to prepare as much family history material as I can – though I suspect many of the attendants are currently part of my Facebook family group and at least know about or follow my family blog, and there doesn’t seem to be much interest or participation until I post photos. But therein lies the problem – I really don’t HAVE any photos! I am the youngest of my generation, we moved away from the hometown, and I never lived there! We have nothing pertaining to the ancestors, and my dad is gone so I can’t ask him any questions, though even when he was alive he never liked to talk about growing up.  I don’t know who was the repository for the old family photos, and I have asked many of the cousins, but no one seems to have anything or they will “look when they have time” and there just hasn’t been time. I hope that getting together for a family reunion will spark interest and make them want to go home and find those boxes! And maybe I can follow them home and help. :)

 

I am also involved in the DAR. My chapter, Cactus Wren, is a busy group and I try to get involved when I can. I am on the American Indian and American History committees for my chapter, and I love getting the chance to learn something new about Native Americans. The theme I have followed so far has been Native American Women, and recently I have learned a little bit about Sarah Winnemucca, Cora Sinnard (who I had to do a lot of my own digging on!), Charlotte Edith Anderson Monture, and the Women In Military Service for America Foundation Memorial at the Capitol.They had an exhibit that featured Native American Women, and one woman featured was even our own Arizona-native Lori Piestewa.

 

So it’s going to be a busy year, but I think it will be fun! I am excited about my classes for this semester, and I feel like everything I am doing fits together like a puzzle – one that I have been trying to put together for several years.