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How One Company Designed the Bookshelves that Made America's Biggest Libraries Possible

Before the early twentieth century, public libraries typically used wooden bookcases with fixed shelves to house their volumes. In the 1910s, new public literacy initiatives like Andrew Carnegie’s library-building projects, as well as...Show More Summary

Crater Book Now Available From Audible

I am pleased to announce that Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder is now available from audible. Jack de Golia did a solid job reading the book, which runs just under six hours in length. The audio version is half the price of the hardcover and even […]

Bernin’s Ecstasy of Saint Teresa restored

The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, a statue by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome, has received a thorough cleaning and restoration, the first cleaning in 20 years. There were water stains from a leaking window and layers of black grime from dust accumulation, smog and other airborne pollutants. [...]

The Corruption of Spartan Society

The Sparta of Plutarch bears very little resemblance to the Sparta of Herodotus. By the first century AD, Sparta had become a brutal backwater living according to rigid rituals that the inhabitants exploited to attract tourism. These...Show More Summary

Ledgers, Laches, and the Law

The New York Law Journal ran an interesting report earlier this month on a legal decision involving a ledger from the Pennsylvania Gazette print shop. That ledger was kept by printer David Hall from 1759 to 1766. Hall published the newspaper as the younger partner of Benjamin Franklin, who spent nearly all those years in London. Show More Summary

How You Can Become a Civil War Historian

In this short video the Civil War Trust’s Garry Adelman shares his thoughts about ‘becoming a Civil War historian.’ Garry hinted to me last year that he was thinking about working on just such a video. Unfortunately, Garry gets too bogged down in drawing a distinction between the public and […]

Early Christian church with unique frescoes found in Turkey

Archaeologists excavating the vast networks of rock-cut caves underneath the massive Byzantine-era castle in the town of Nev?ehir, Central Anatolia Region, Turkey, have discovered an ancient church with unique frescoes depicting Biblical scenes not seen before in other churches of the period. Preliminary estimates suggest the church dates to the 5th century and the frescoes [...]

Does James Longstreet Deserve a Monument?

This past Wednesday Charles Lane authored an opinion piece for The Washington Post that called for a monument to be erected in New Orleans to Confederate General James Longstreet. The essay has now been re-printed in newspapers across the country. Lane believes that Longstreet’s postwar alignment with the Republican Party […]

Breakfast with John Adams

A lot of books and articles describe John Adams as drinking hard cider each morning. Not many, however, cite a source for that factoid.Cider researcher Mark Turdo looked into that statement and expressed skepticism on his Pommel Cyder...Show More Summary

Getty buys Orazio Gentileschi’s Danaë for record $30.5 million

The J. Paul Getty Museum blew through the record for Baroque artist Orazio Gentileschi when it bought his Danaë at a Sotheby’s auction Thursday for $30.5 million. That’s more than seven times greater than the previous record of $4,117,803 set in 2007 with the sale of a Madonna and Child. The entire sale of 61 [...]

Extraordinary collection of personal items from the Gettysburg battle donated to foundation

The Gettysburg Foundation is the recipient of a priceless collection of personal items that belonged to officers and soldiers who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, according to an announcement by the foundation. Craig Bashein, a Cleveland lawyer and member of the foundation board, made the donation late last month. The items include the dress […]

The Juntocast Tackles the Bill of Rights

For folks interested in the recent postings on the genesis of the U.S. Bill of Rights, I recommend the latest podcast discussion from the Junto, released last weekend.Ken Owen, Michael Hattem, and Roy Rogers discuss the development of...Show More Summary

Study Reconstruction in Washington, D.C. This Summer

For those of you who are history teachers looking for professional development opportunities this summer, I encourage you to check out what Ford’s Theatre is offering on the Reconstruction Era. This is still one of the most misunderstood periods in American history and yet an argument could be made that […]

Browse 18,000 historic menus in the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library has a collection of more than 45,000 historical restaurant menus from the 1840s to the present. It’s one of the largest menu collections in the world and it’s still growing, with Culinary Collections librarian (such a great job title) Rebecca Federman at the helm. She is the latest in a [...]

Africa's Peacekeeping Force

Answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the African Standby Force, which became fully operational as of January 2016.

State of Emergency

What is a State of Emergency. African History.

Fowler on the Crises after Yorktown in Lexington, Jan. 29

On Friday, 29 January, the Lexington Historical Society will host a free talk by William Fowler, Jr., on the topic of his book American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two Years After Yorktown, 1781-1783.The publisher’s description:Most...Show More Summary

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