Some Sources for Ideas and Inspiration

The posts here at New York History demonstrate the robustness of New York’s historical enterprise and the creativity and energy of people working in the field. But the posts also show the need for more leadership, coordination, resources, and new approaches. This post lists some sources from beyond New York that might provide useful perspectives for discussions about strengthening the historical enterprise in our state. (It is an expanded version of the list in my article in Public Historian last August.) Read more

Bruce Dearstyne: Strengthening the Historical Enterprise

Several recent posts on this site have demonstrated the robustness and diversity of New York’s historical programs but also pointed to the limitations, challenges, and potential for much greater achievement. The special issue of the Public Historian on &#8220Strengthening the Management of State History: Issues, Perspectives, and Insights from New York&#8221 last August analyzed these same issues.

That discussion needs to continue. In fact, we are overdue for an examination of the state’s historical enterprise and discussion of ways of boosting its effectiveness and impact.
New York is one of the nation’s oldest states, with a history stretching back more than 400 years. Read more

Welcome New Contributor Bruce Dearstyne

Please join us in welcoming our newest contributor, Dr. Bruce W. Dearstyne of Guilderland. Dearstyne was the guest editor of a special issue of the journal Public Historian on “Strengthening the Management of State History: Issues, Perspectives, and Insights from New York” (August 2011). He has written a number of essays on New York State history for the “Perspective” section of the Albany Times-Union.

He is a former professor at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, where he is now an Adjunct Professor. Before joining the Maryland faculty, he held positions at the New York State Archives and the Office of State History. He is the author of Railroads and Railroad Regulation in New York State, 1900-1913, co-author of New York: Yesterday and Today, and author of a number of articles.

Strengthening NYs Historical Enterprise

Anyone who follows this website, New York History: Historical News and Views From The Empire State, knows the close to astonishing amount of historical activity going on in our state. New York’s history, I believe, has more variety, interest, and potential for us to draw insights today, than the history of any other state. We have hundreds of historical programs and officially designated local historians. But we also know that the state of the historical enterprise is not as strong as it ought to be. Read more