September 23, 2018 at 1:45pm

Book cover image for Curating America : journeys through storyscapes of the American pastCurating America : journeys through storyscapes of the American past

by Richard Rabinowitz

Published: Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, [2016]

Call number: E175.9 .R33 2016

Publisher description: "How do history museums and historic sites tell the richly diverse stories of the American people? What fascinates us most about American history? To help answer these questions, noted public historian Richard Rabinowitz examines the evolution o f public history over the last half-century and the high-lights the new ways we have come to engage with our past. At the heart of the endeavor is what Rabinowitz calls "storyscapes" -- landscapes of engagement where individuals actively encounter stories of past lives. As storyscapes, museums become processes of narrative interplay rather than moribund storage bins of strange relics. Storyscapes bring to life even the most obscure people -- making their skills of hands and minds "touchable," making their voices heard despite their absence from traditional archives, and making the dilemmas and triumphs of their lives accessible to us today. Rabinowitz's wealth of professional experience -- creating over 500 history museums, exhibitions, and educational programs across the nation -- shapes and informs the narrative. By weaving insights from learning theory, anthropology and geography, politics and finance, collections and preservation policy, and interpretive media, Rabinowitz reveals how the nation's best museums and historic sties allow visitors to confront their sense of time and place, memories of family and community, and definitions of self and the world while expanding their idea of where they stand in the flow of history."