Blog


I maintain a blog on Medium at @LyndhurstGroup.

Below are links and a preview of each post. Click on the blog title for full posts. (They are organized reverse-chronologically.)

  • #TakingRisks I first began the habit of calling my friends/close family members who live out-of-state in 2007, during my 50+ mile round-trip commute to Nashville. When I stopped that daily grind in 2016, I transferred the practice to my 5-mile walks with my dogs. This past week, I talked with my best friend from college about a work-related challenge he was facing. Troy is general manager at a restaurant and he had mapped out a way for his store to earn a significant amount more money than it was currently if the company made an upfront investment of around $15,000. It was really a no-brainer from my perspective. A $15,000 investment had already nearly paid for itself with one $11,000 sale he’d already made. Troy then shared with me the myriad ways the investment could garner an additional $27,000–$48,000 over sixteen weeks. Read the full post. Published August 19, 2018.

 

  • What Should a History Organization’s Main Goal Be? Former Colorado state historian (and incredible historian of the American West) Patty Limerick has just published a pretty stark critique of History Colorado (the erstwhile Colorado Historical Society): “Prodding a Historic Friend to Do Better.” As a public historian, while I agree with many of Limerick’s points, I also have more than a passing understanding for some of the reasons for the decisions the institution has made. (Full disclosure: I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there this past spring.) Read the full post. Published July 27, 2018.

 

  • “No Matter Where You Live, You Are on Indigenous Land” One of my favorite things about the history/museum field is how incredibly awesome the people are. David Harrelson is one of them. I met David, who works for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, when I took my first-ever trip to Oregon to keynote the Oregon Heritage Conference. Like any good public historian/historic preservationist, his tour of the reservation and the work he was doing was interesting and insightful. More than that, was his passion and interest in the possibilities of his work inspired me. I hope it will do the same for you. Read the full post. Published July 18, 2018.

 

  • Giving Thanks/Offering Acknowledgement: Beatty’s Maxim #6 In 1996 I began my career in the public sector as Program Manager for the Non-Traditional Careers Program/Career Directions at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida. The job was literally a life changer for me. It was my introduction both to the world of public service as well as a true introduction to the professional world. This was because of the woman who hired me, Carolyn Strandquest, who was a mentor in so many ways. Read the full postPublished July 7, 2018.

 

  • Empathy, Diversity, and Inclusion in Life and in Museums One of the best things about the history/museum field is coming into contact amazing, thoughtful colleagues. People who challenge me to aspire to be the very best public historian I can be. Dina Bailey is one such person. Dina and I first met back in 2008 and my life and career is much richer with her in it. She’s helped my own understanding of a variety of things, diversity and inclusion among them. Her insights feature prominently in the Diversity & Inclusion chapter in An AASLH Guide to Making Public Historywhich I recently excerpted here. Lately, our discussions have turned to the topic of empathy, something sorely missing in public dialog, and something I believe museums and history organizations can help ameliorate. Read the full postPublished June 28, 2018.

 

  • On Writer’s Block “I don’t think there’s writer’s block, I just think you’re unable to enjoy the work that you’re doing. You can still write, it’s not like you forget the words or how to put a pencil to a piece of paper,” Jason Isbell. Jason Isbell is one of my favorite current artists. I loved his work when he was in Drive-By Truckers, but have been particularly taken by his latest three albums Southeastern (2013), Something More than Free (2015), and The Nashville Sound (2017). Part of what appeals to me about Isbell is how nakedly he grapples with not only life — most artists do that — but on the writing process itself. The quote above is from a great, hour-long interview with Isbell. You can access it at about :30 on this from YouTube. “You just aren’t having any fun anymore,” he tells the interviewer. Read the full postPublished June 20, 2018.

 

  • History Relevance in Action: A Conversation with author Tim Grove One of the many joys I’ve had in my career is getting to know terrific colleagues who are doing great work on behalf of the history enterprise. Tim Grove is one of the founders of History Relevance (formerly the History Relevance Campaign), an author, the chair of the 2018 AASLH annual meeting, and a fellow history professional who, like me, proudly carries the “History Geek” moniker. Read the full post. Published June 18, 2018.

 

  • All History is Local I was recently talking to my friend and client Coleman Hampton of the Bell County Museum in Belton, Texas. Coleman and I are working together on reimagining the museum’s local history exhibits. One of the things Coleman and I are talking about is something I believe is a critical, and sometimes overlooked, important aspect of local history: how the local past relates to the wider world. Local history in a local context is important for natives and long-timers, and they expect to see this when they come to your museum. But the larger statewide, national, and even international contexts are helpful both for the wider history “cause” (think the Value of History statement) and also for folks less familiar with a community’s past. Read the full postPublished June 7, 2018.

 

  • Diversity is Passive. Inclusion is Active Adapted from Chapter 19 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History American history organizations must address issues of diversity and inclusion in an intentional, systematic, and thoughtful way. And they must do so now. Why is this important? More than anything, it’s the right thing to do. Organizations should strive to represent the entirety of their communities’ pasts, to be welcome to the various narratives that comprise their histories. Beyond that, diversity and inclusion is inherent to the practice of public history. Read the full postPublished June 4, 2018.

 

  • Name Badge Faces *OUT* (& Other Conference Suggestions…) Beatty’s Maxim #5 The past decade or so, I have marked the true beginning of spring not with the flowers blooming or my allergies acting up, but with the start of conference season. Spring is the time when many state museum associations hold their conferences…. As I prepared for the spring conference season, I thought it a good time to share some of my conference-going insights. MAKE SURE YOUR NAME BADGE FACES OUT. Yes I put this in BOLD/CAPS for a reason…This helps others recognize you by your name later and avoids the awkward — “What was your name again?” — interaction. You have a name badge, use it properly…please. Read the full post. Published March 20, 2018.

 

  • Stewardship is the Open Hand, not the Closed Fist (Beatty’s Maxim #4) About ten years ago, Kent Whitworth, director of the Kentucky Historical Society, shared this phrase with me that in many ways sums up a key principle of my own work in the history endeavor. (For the purposes of this post, I’ll be using the term stewardship as “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” In this case, the history that we care for on a daily basis.)  “Stewardship is the open hand, not the closed fist”  has multiple meanings in multiple contexts. But as it pertains to our work in public history, it is a reminder of the obligation of history organizations to keep in mind who we are doing this work for rather than who we are doing this work to. It’s a simple statement in that it’s easy to remember. But like most simple mantras with value, there is a lot of meaning packed within. Read the full post. Published March 7, 2018.

 

  • Advocacy in Action As I see it, the most salient issues of our time are Advocacy and Diversity & Inclusion (something I plan to write about soon). They both are part of the Sustainability equation. Sustainability is probably the most important issue we address on an ongoing basis. How do we — as a field and as individual institutions — ensure we have the resources needed to continue the crucially important work that we do? Why is Advocacy is so important now? Quite simply it’s because part of the reason we’re in the position we’re in — with arts & humanities continually operating from a defensive position of, “But, but…we really *do* matter! — is because we have not been as strong advocates for our own cause as we should have been. Read the full post. Published March 1, 2018.

 

  • Commemoration: The Promise of Remembrance and New Beginnings Adapted from Chapter 17 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History I have long maintained that commemoration is one of the most important tools in the toolkit of a public historian. Honoring anniversaries is part of our institutional job description: the community looks to us to help mark the passage of time. But commemorating the past is also good business. Compared to many of the things we do, anniversaries are a relatively easy sell. It’s much easier to cut through the noise of daily life with something that has brand recognition of some sort already. For example, most people know there was a War of 1812 or World War I. They may not know when it happened or who fought in it — but there’s a very good chance it won’t be a completely new concept. History organizations are wise to pay attention to these opportunities and maximize them. Read the full postPublished February 15, 2018.

 

  • Modern Museums: Relevant and Resilient Attendance at conferences is some of the most valuable professional development experience out there as it combines both learning sessions and networking in a single package. Last week gave the opening Town Hall address for the 2018 California Association of Museums conference. California is home to more than 3,000 museums, nearly 10% of the count IMLS keeps in its Museum Universe Data File. Its museum community is a powerful force both with the Golden State and nationally…. I focused my talk around five major issues that I see facing museums today (there are more, I know, but one’s gotta make choices) and asked participants to consider them alongside these words from John Cotton Dana in 1917, “Learn what aid the community needs, fit the museum to those needs.” The only caveat I’d add to Dana’s maxim, which has been guiding museum practice for a century, is to make sure that an institution keep its mission in mind. Read the full post. Published February 13, 2018.

 

  • The Deaccessioning Dilemma and Leadership I’ve done my best to stay on top of the discussion swirling around the Berkshire Museum’s desire to use deaccession proceeds to fund operating costs. Earlier this week, Joan Baldwin, another of the field’s more insightful thinkers, posted on the leadership implications of the deaccessioning dilemma. As co-author (with Anne Ackerson) of two books that are must-haves on any museum person’s bookshelf — Leadership Matters and Women in the Museum: Lessons from the Workplace — it is no surprise that Joan has some great insights on this issue. Nor is it a surprise that they focus on issues of board and CEO leadership. Here are Joan’s takeaways — insights that are applicable well beyond the immediate example of the Berkshire Museum. Read the full postPublished February 9, 2018.

 

  • Turning Points: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Change Adapted from Chapter 15 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History I started Chapter 15 with some background on the theme for the 2013 AASLH Annual Meeting: Turning Points: Ordinary People, Extraordiary Change. We used the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham Summer (dubbed “Project C” by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference) as a launching point for a conference held in Birmingham. For me, no one exemplified the theme more than the soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement. This includes Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth of Birmingham’s Bethel Baptist Church, founder of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, and co-founder of the SCLC. It also includes several thousand youth between the ages of seven and eighteen who marched in Birmingham in summer 1963. This led to brutality at the direction of Birmingham’s Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Conner: police beatings, firehoses, police dogs, and the like. The national public outcry was significant and helped turn the tide for the Civil Rights Movement itself. It was truly a Turning Point, one created by Ordinary People who made Extraordinary ChangeRead the full postPublished February 5, 2018.

 

  • A Second Response to the Deaccessioning Dilemma I first met Jenn Landry, now Director of Museums at City of Irving (TX), when she attended Developing History Leaders @SHA, a program that I managed for the American Association for State and Local History from 2007–2016. Like Ruth Taylor, whose commentary I posted here, Jenn has a keen mind for museums and their value. She is also a collections professional with a wide range of experiences that, frankly, I do not have. In response to my original post, The Deaccessioning Dilemma, Jenn reached out and shared another concern with the use of proceeds from the deaccessioning and sale of collections: that of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Her comments are thorough in addressing an angle I haven’t often heard mentioned in the overall discussions on this topic. While acknowledging how challenging deaccessioning decisions are, Jenn urges us to gain better understanding of the accounting/auditing/tax ramifications of our decisions. Read the full post. Published January 31, 2018.

 

  • One Response to the Deaccessioning Dilemma Several colleagues reached out to me after my post last week on deaccessioning. Two, in particular, offered food-for-thought from which others might gain significant insight (I know I did). I asked both if they’d allow me to post their commentary here and they both said yes. So herewith, Part 1, from Ruth Taylor, Executive Director at the Newport Historical Society, an email she had shared with colleagues in response to an article from the Boston Globe, “The Berkshire Museum Defends its Most Important Asset: Its Open Doors.” I find Ruth to be one of the most cogent, probing thinkers in our field. She challenges my own thinking on a regular basis and encourages me to further hone my understanding of our work and its impact on our communities. It is no surprise to me that her thoughts on deaccessioning decisions and the use of proceeds from it bring clarity to the underlying concerns of the issue. Read the full post. Published January 30, 2018.

 

  • The Deaccessioning Dilemma Since 2007 when I joined the staff of the American Association for State and Local History, I’ve had a pretty unique vantage point as one who hears from, works with, and even visits institutions nationwide. It’s been awesome, actually, because it gives me insight into what’s working collectively — and what are the major challenges. Collections, the very heart of our work, have consistently been one of the BIG issues the field has been grappling with. It was no different in the 19th century as American museums first built their collections nor was it in the 1940s when Theodore Low castigated museums for focusing on collections instead of their educational mission. The collections-related discussions I’ve personally encountered/been engaged in includes: Standards; Collections Care; What Qualifies as Collections?; Active Collections; and Deaccessioning. The Deaccessioning Dilemma of the day surrounds the Berkshire Museum’s decision to deaccession some of its collection for operating funds: a major no-no in the field that has earned them censure from several national organizations. Read the full post. Published January 25, 2018.

 

  • Place is at the Heart of How We See the Past Adapted from Chapter 13 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History In his keynote address at the 2007 AASLH Annual Meeting, historian David Blight said, “Place is at the heart of how we come to see the past.” I suspect many of us in the history profession share this sentiment. History in books certainly piqued an interest. But for lots of us, myself included, actually going to the places where history happened and/or terrific museums that displayed objects from the past added a new dimension to our enjoyment of history. Our work in history is frequently place-based. It is also a great way to engage people in the past — for they, too, often feel a connection to the past based on their associations with places. This is to our advantage. I firmly agree with Dr. Blight that place truly is at the heart of how we see the past. It’s the very core of the discipline, and certainly is at the epicenter of local history. “Cities and towns have distinct voices,” notes J. Dennis Robinson. “Their neighborhoods, houses, and rooms tell tales; they hold deep impressions of their makers and their keepers.” Read the full post. Published January 25, 2018.

 

  • The Whole is Greater Adapted from Chapter 11 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History While Aristotle didn’t actually coin the exact phrase, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he is credited with the philosophical concept. Most of us have seen this concept at work on sports teams (particularly when a HUGE underdog wins). This is true in music too (I’m formally studying it as it applies to the Allman Brothers Band). But in the world of museums and nonprofits, this concept often bears fruit in the partnerships and collaborations we establish. Alexis de Tocqueville observed this tendency in his early nineteenth-century treatise on the nascent American republic, Democracy in America. Tocqueville highlighted Americans’ proclivity to work in concert in both the political sphere and in public life. “I have often admired,” he commented, “the extreme skill with which the inhabitants of the United States succeed in proposing a common object for the exertions of a great many men and in inducing them voluntarily to pursue it.” In many ways, American state and local history reflects this principle. It is an example of democracy in action. Read full post. Published January 17, 2018.

 

  • The Bravest Man I Ever Met In my career, I’ve had the privilege to meet some pretty cool folks. None, however, looms larger for me than Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. Pastor of Birmingham’s Bethel Baptist Church, Shuttlesworth founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in 1956, after the state of Alabama had outlawed the NAACP. He was also one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which Martin Luther King Jr. led until his assassination in 1968. Shuttlesworth was a tireless advocate for civil rights in Alabama and across the South, and his advocacy was not without a heavy cost. Most notable for me was a bombing of his home on Christmas night, 1956. Sixteen sticks of dynamite had been placed under his home near his bedroom. Shuttlesworth escaped with only a bump on the head. Far from scaring Shuttlesworth from civil rights activities, it emboldened him. Read full post. Published January 15, 2018.

 

  • Write Stuff Down (Beatty’s Maxim #3) Many, many years ago in a management or personal productivity class (I can’t remember which), I was taught to write things down. I ignored that advice then as I had a really, really good memory. I depended on my memory and it rarely let me down. I have learned, however (and thus moved the precept into my own “Canon for Working/Living”), that writing things down is really critical for three reasons. The first is the most practical: writing things down helps me remember things better. This is why many of us took notes in school. Yes, I know there’s lots of research out there about the effectiveness and/or ineffectiveness of notetaking. But for me (and these are Beatty’s Maxims, after all), writing things down, or notetaking helps keep me focused on the content of the meeting or discussion. I have a tangible record to refer back to. Read full post. Published January 11, 2018.

 

  • The Power of Possibility Adapted from Chapter 9 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History As one looks at the history endeavor today, it is certainly rife with opportunity. Early in my career, Kent Whitworth, director of the Kentucky Historical Society and coauthor of Chapter 10 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History, shared a phrase with me that best sums up this principle. “Stewardship is the open hand, not the closed fist.” The phrase certainly has multiple meanings in multiple contexts. But as it pertains to our history work, it is a reminder of our obligation to keep in mind the opportunities to serve our communities and stakeholders — the possibilities inherent in our work. Read full post. Published January 9, 2018.

 

  • Measuring Effectiveness If you’ve followed along with my thinking on this blog, you’ll note that I continue to come home to one major point: measuring the value of our work. I’ve posted about it twice recently: Will We Ever Effectively Measure the Public Value of Museums? (November 15, 2017) and Museums and Economic Impact (November 30, 2017). This past December 11, the ever-interesting and truly engaging Vu Le of the incredible (yes, incredible) Nonprofit AF blog addressed the topic as well in his post “How the Concept of Effectiveness has Screwed Nonprofits and the People We Serve.”… What Vu has done here, very effectively, is discussed how funders’ concepts of a nonprofit’s effectiveness is inherently exclusive in its practice. This is a different — but no less important — take on the value equation than what I typically fret over (more on that below). Read full post. Published December 20, 2018.

 

  • A Twenty-First-Century Renaissance Adapted from Chapter 7 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History Despite the fact that many history institutions have proven their worth as community leaders, our audiences still do not reflect the changing demographics of American society. Public history must address the disconnect why audiences (and the field itself) are trending older and white. People in communities across the nation embrace heritage, identity, and place — elements history can empower. Demographics are an issue certainly, but our challenges extend beyond engaging diverse participation. The way we present history must change even for our current demographics as well. It is simply not enough to preserve the oldest house in town or to display cases of artifacts. Read full post. Published December 18, 2017.

 

  • Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way (Beatty’s Maxim #2) Last week I shared the first of the lessons I’ve learned in my career, what I dubbed Beatty’s Maxim #1: Be Open to Opportunity. Today’s is an adaptation of a quote from General George S. Patton: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way. I honestly don’t remember where I first heard the quote and it wasn’t until I started to type up this post today that I even learned its origin. (Lesson: Always do your homework when posting quotes…)  I also don’t recall exactly when the principle itself coalesced in my head — and how it became for me a maxim. At some point earlier in my career, I just remember this thought running through my head: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the WayRead full post. Published December 14, 2017.

 

  • Making History a 21st-Century Enterprise Adapted from Chapter 5 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History In 2008, as our nation grappled with the beginnings of its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, 2009 AASLH Annual Meeting program chair D. Stephen Elliott (now of the Minnesota Historical Society), host chair John Herbst (Indiana Historical Society), and Garet Livermore (now of The Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks) drafted the following theme for the meeting: “Our products should be developed, delivered, and marketed with a level of passion and knowledge that makes it meaningful and valuable to visitors, donors, and stakeholders. Cultural entrepreneurship does not end with the fiscal bottom line. It inspires meaningful interaction among visitors, multiple constituencies, and staff; it connects personal history to the larger history of our nation and our world; and it promotes positive social change.” Ultimately, this results in greater public value, the key to the entire equation. As James Heaton of the Tronvig Group notes, “No one buys what you sell. They buy what is of value to them.” A cultural entrepreneur knows to identify audiences and what they value, and develops strategies to discern how his or her organization meets or can be made to meet their needs. Read full post. Published December 11, 2017.

 

  • Be Open to Possibilities (or, “How Did I End Up Here Anyway?”) A few weeks ago I was talking with my colleague Charity Counts about a conference session idea she had for the Association of Midwest Museums, for which she serves as Executive Director. Her idea for the session centered around those of us who’ve reached the middle stage in our careers, how we got here, and what lessons we’ve learned around the way. Our discussion centered around our career paths and some unlikely twists and turns. Charity then shared with me a terrific blog post she’d written about her own journey, which led me to ponder my own. Read full post. Published December 7, 2017.

 

  • Discovering the Power of Transformation Adapted from Chapter 3 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History  Transformation is at the heart of the study of history and at the history enterprise as well. History is the study of change over time and sometimes, in the long view, that demonstrates revolutionary change. In thinking about this as applied in the world of history organizations, transformation is more than just a buzzword, it’s a necessity. Long gone are the days when museums could exhibit artifacts on their intrinsic merit alone (if that ever existed in the first place). As is true for the historical discipline writ large, history organizations must be able to answer the “why” question(s): Why this artifact matters, why this site or historic house means anything, and/or why something particular happened. In many cases, shifting our own institutional focus from the “what” of history to the “why” requires a systematic reimagining of the organization itself — often this reimagining results in complete institutional transformation. Read full post. Published December 7, 2017.

 

  • Museums and Economic Impact I have long advocated for museums coming up with a measurement for the true value we add to our communities. This is an ephemeral thing and I have long been flummoxed by our (my) inability to articulate such a measurement. In the absence of that, we typically turn to economic measurements. And museums score well on this front too. When you add this to the (thus far somewhat intangible) public value we provide — I’d venture to say we are some of the more meaningful institutions within our communities. Just last week I received an inquiry from a colleague asking for sources for economic impact studies. Shortly thereafter, my friend Dan Joyce of the Kenosha Public Museum posted information on such a study in his community: Kenosha, Wisconsin. The study by the Williams College Center for Creative Community Development, which focuses on the role of arts in community development, reveals the museums create a $12.2 million impact annually and account for about 200 jobs. Read full post. Published November 30, 2017.

 

  • The Only Thing that is Constant is Change Adapted from Chapter 1 of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History In 2010, AASLH held its annual meeting in Oklahoma City in partnership with the Oklahoma Museums Association. As we began planning the conference in earnest in early 2009, program chair Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine; Brenda Granger of OMA; host chair Dan Provo of the Oklahoma History Center, and I all understood there was no way we’d be able to ignore the proverbial elephant in the room: the U.S. economy was in the midst of its longest, and by many measures, worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The economic crisis cost Americans considerably an caught many in the history field unawares. As might be expected, giving dropped precipitously and many organizations that relied on public funding found monies directed elsewhere — often to address what funders believed were more pressing social needs. The Great Recession didn’t only affect giving, the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization, but it also affected the financial stability of the organizations themselves. Declining endowment values of 50+ percent cost history organizations dearly. Read full post. Published November 27, 2017.

 

  • Reflecting on a Decade of Thought Regarding Issues Facing the Field As I prepared to write An American Association for State and Local History Guide to Making Public History, I reflected on ten years of AASLH annual meeting themes and the essays that accompanied them that ran in the spring issue of History News magazine. My goal was not only to present the essays in a single volume, but also to provide additional thought introducing each chapter. In doing so, some macro themes of discussion emerged: Sustainability, Diversity and Inclusion, and History Relevance. I’m sure none of these is a surprise to you. Read full post. Published November 20, 2017.

 

  • Will We Ever Effectively Measure the Public Value of Museums? Susie Wilkening provides and excellent resource in her Curated Bookshelf blog series. Her latest post is about the High Impact Giving Guide from the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP). What struck me is something Susie added in her Tweet about her blog post: “Goal: I want a museum in CHIP’s High Impact Giving Guide in 2019 or 2020.” There are lots of reasons we’re not on this list. But a big one is because, as Susie notes, we don’t have any effective measurement for our value. She writes, “As a field…we need to develop our own sets of comprehensive measure that share how exposing more children and adults to art, history, science, nature, and pretty much everything the world holds makes a difference…and that our methods for engagement are more effective than alternatives.” Read full post. Published November 15, 2017.

 

  • Introducing An AASLH Guide to Making Public History Excerpt from the Foreword by Cinnamon Catlin Legutko. Over the past several years, I’ve found myself in many meeting rooms, on conference panels, and in social media chats talking about history’s relevance and resonance. How do we connect with the public while serving the public? We do this by demonstrating the history field’s imperative to preserve our memories and the artifacts that provide evidence of our love, work, and family. Our differences, our humanity, and our legacy as individuals, as a nation, as community. Is preservation enough? Talented history professionals respond to this imperative and refine it upward. They hear it call to them and it kindles their passion for this work. When they level up, their organizations deliver meaningful exhibits, programs, and initiatives that tap into the hearts and minds of their audiences and affect social change. An AASLH Guide to Making Public History gives us a road map to critical thinking about what our audiences need and expect of us. The chapters herein harness the words, thoughts, and passions of some of the most exciting history practitioners of the twenty-first century. Their experiences, sentiments, and wisdom are skillfully stitched together. Read full post. Published November 13, 2017.