When visiting a museum, one expects to encounter
and interact with historical objects, artefacts and their materiality.
Especially after the turn of the millennium, museums increasingly introduced (and
embraced) new digital components. Today, audio guides, for example, have become
indispensable for many institutions. According to the National Museum of
American History, it has more than 1.7 million objects “and a 22,000 linear
feet of archival documents”[i] in
its collection. The Deutsches Historisches Museum (German History Museum) in
Berlin has also more than 60,000 historical documents and more than 900 movie
clips from the past.[ii]
These are too many historical objects and media to exhibit on the walls of
museums. Therefore, museums have been discussing and experimenting with ways of
using digital technology to make objects from their archives and storage
facilities more visible. Would you expect that there will be a next level of
presenting museal artefacts digitally to visitors?
The concept of community archivism quickly gained popularity in Poland as one of the branches of public history. It concerns the need to collect, organize and disseminate selected fragments of the past.
The post Collecting, Sharing. Lower Silesian Community Archives appeared first on Public History Weekly.
The question about the relevance and applicability of historical knowledge becomes particularly urgent in the context of local history and regional history. Learners are currently not very motivated to occupy themselves with local and state history as far as centralised examinations are concerned. Life designs based on migration und multiple localities also give rise to the very practical, everyday problem of transferring what has been learned.
No Place for Local History
Centralised examinations and performance measurements have led to a marginalisation of contents related to local and regional history because, as is well known, these are hard to generalise and their specifics run contrary to the trend towards standardisation in educational policy. Locations that have Roman ruins or medieval buildings offer a variety of starting points that differ from those in towns and villages that have contemporary monuments or a memorial site dedicated to the history of the 20th century. If, nevertheless, local or regional history does make an appearance in the textbooks or syllabi of the 16 German states, then it usually serves to illustrate and concretise history in general, and with the aim of strengthening the identity of the inhabitants of Saxony, Bavaria, or Brandenburg etc.