The Public History Reader
The Public History Reader provides both a comprehensive introduction to public history by facilitating understanding through contextualising debates and controversies and also by raising questions and suggesting possible responses. Part I looks at who makes history, focusing on the ways in which the past has taken on a heightened popular sense of importance in the present and the ways in which it is used. Accordingly, history, far from being ‘fixed’ in time, is fluid and is re-made to serve contemporary agendas or needs in the present. Part II address the question of materials and approaches to making history. By using material more commonly within the domain of art historians or geographers and archaeologists, public historians have opened up understandings of the past. Part III looks at the way presentations of the past change over time and have been changed providing a context for the different forms of presentation of the past. It concludes by thinking about the challenges for public historians today.
The cover image of posing in Clerkenwell is by the fascinating photographer of London Colin O’Brien