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Putting the Public in Public History

What do you think of when you hear the word history? If you’re like most Americans, you remember the dry history textbooks you were force-fed in high school, along with the endless dates you were told to memorize for that exam on Thursday. You grudgingly memorized them, promptly forgot them, and never took another class after you graduated. Goodbye to all that.

Yet the past is there, shaping the present. And how we understand the present depends on knowing the past. As Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei has said, “History is the missing part of the puzzle in everything we do.” Without it, you don’t have the whole picture.

Filling out that picture is what Public History Productions does.

Public history – or applied history – can incorporate everything from client-based historical research, say for a corporation that wants a permanent exhibit in its building lobby, to documenting people’s experiences in the wake of a natural or manmade disaster, as with the Hurricane Katrina Oral History Project. It can mean that an organization wants to conduct a series of interviews of managers and workers in order to learn from past mistakes and successes, or that a film producer delves into the archives in order to better describe the story she wants to tell.

If you or your organization would like help with the detective work necessary to locate first-hand accounts of past events, a historian’s knowledge to put them into context and add depth to the story you want to tell, or someone with the interviewing and story creation skills to help craft your narrative, please peruse the Services I offer, and the About Me sections of this website to know more about me and how I can help you. You can contact me directly at hollywernerthomas@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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