Why Consider Local History?
At home, the Project Librarian (me) has these three things on a shelf :
Ganesha – Indian God – Remover of Obstacles, The Sleeping Lady of Malta, and The Queen of the Lewis Chessmen
It seems funny that I know more about far away places and events – places that I might never return to – than I do about my “new” home town, Cranford; where I have lived for the last twenty years.
Throughout my graduate studies in information science, one topic I kept returning to when needing to apply my new academic training was local history librarianship. It has been fun to research and gather and organize information about my town, Cranford, New Jersey. I has also been fun to study the organizations that do similar work – libraries of all sizes and local history organizations around the world, but in particular those in the United States.
My specialization is in digital library models organizations deploy.
Successful organizations have preservation and outreach strategies to ensure that their collections endure. The stewards of these collections have invested time, resources and their passion in cultivating these treasure troves of materials. The interesting stories of our local history guardians are part of the history of the community itself; and there is still plenty of room at that table, for new helpers and guardians to gather and interpret local history materials.
I hope you enjoy this site and help contribute to building local history resources wherever you might be. Our cultural memories are precious and need to be protected.
Local History Digital Libraries – It’s Personal
I have a long-term interest in Community and Social Informatics. Local History touches on many rich topics such as: community creativity and achievement, the concept of “The Great Good Place” and using Local History to create the 3rd place in Oldenburg’s model, Cultural Memory, vibrant interdisciplinary dialogue, contemporary issues, cultural and collective memory, traumatic memory, collective and national forgetting, memorialization, museology, historical consciousness historiography, archive and testimony.
Trusteeship, Stewardship, and Erikson’s stage of psychosocial development – Generativity