Introducing An AASLH Guide to Making Public History

A few weeks ago, Rowman & Littlefield published my latest book, An American Association for State and Local History Guide to Making Public History. As a way to introduce the book, I will be running a series of excerpts.

The excerpt below is from the Foreword by my good friend and colleague Cinnamon Catlin Legutko of the Abbe Museum.

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 by one of my favorite people on the planet, Bob Beatty.
The chapter authors offer a set of new lenses for us to use as we make public history. We always need to take the wider view of our field, try some fresh thinking, and reapply ourselves to do the good work of public history. Hopefully after reading the Guide you’ll imagine the next best idea for your organization or research.

Order the book here (get 30% off with code: RLFANDF30).

Please share with me any questions you have.

A twenty-year veteran of the nonprofit world, Bob Beatty is founder of The Lyndhurst Group, a history, museum, and nonprofit consulting firm providing community-focused engagement strategies for institutional planning, organizational assessments, and interpretive direction.

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