I discovered my love for history when I was 14 years old and the U.S. Air Force transferred my family to a base in England. Traveling from castles to cathedrals to ruins to cities, I felt the stories of these places and understood that history is not solely about events whose dates we are required to memorize. History is stories. My passion for those stories led me to a master’s degree in history.
I see history everywhere. I see a building and wonder who designed it, who built it and who lived there. I see a dining room table and wonder who ate there and how it ended up in this antique store. I see cemetery headstones and wonder if the stories behind the names were tragic or happy. Daily life, at least my daily life, is filled with objects and experiences that cause me to think about history. Sometimes I want to know more and I’ll do some research, but sometimes it’s enough just to know that there is a story.
For the times I want details, there are a variety of resources that help us learn more about the past. Along with academic articles and books, these resources include things like family trees, antiques, souvenirs, and memorabilia. That ticket you saved from your first concert provides a glimpse of your personal story, but also about the place and time in which you lived.
Originally I thought I wanted to blog about how to research history. I wanted to share the resources available to help you research whatever piece of history interests you. I still want to do that, but I also want more. I want to share fascinating stories, newly discovered objects, peoples’ opinions about history, the impact of history on individuals, new interpretations of history. Basically anything about history is fair game.
This blog will undoubtedly evolve. People change, stories change, and I think that’s a good thing. I’m sure I’ll sometimes, maybe often, run across something I find so interesting that I must share it RIGHT NOW, but I’ll commit to posting twice weekly, on Mondays and Thursdays.
I hope you’ll join me and enjoy this journey. Please feel free to comment, ask questions, supply answers, tell me your favorite history resource or artifact. Let’s see what happens.