The Changing Face of Public History: The Chicago Historical Society and the Transformation of an American Museum (Paperback)Dan A. Lewis (author)
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Spurred first by the civil rights debates of the 1960s and 1970s, then by the culture wars of the following decades, the Chicago Historical Society (CHS) increasingly sought to give visitors and patrons a voice in retelling the city's history. In response to debates over the authority to interpret the past, CHS engaged in community outreach and sponsored multicultural exhibits and programs. Yet, in this analysis of the society's evolving relationship with its diverse constituencies, Catherine M. Lewis finds that prevailing assumptions about the museum as a commemorative site dedicated to civic pride undermined CHS's bold attempts to create a public forum.
Based on more than 250 interviews with staff at CHS and museums around the country, as well as research into formerly inaccessible public and private papers, The Changing Face of Public History offers a behind-the-scenes look at the ways in which one of the most innovative museums in the United States has continually grappled with issues confronting not only museum professionals but all those concerned about the role history plays in the lives of American citizens.
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
Number of pages: 184
Weight: 259 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
""This book will prove useful to public history students and practitioners, especially museum professionals and those interested in museum studies."-The Public Historian
"Readable and useful.... One of the first full-length case studies of an institution engaged in the process of transformation over the course of a number of years."-Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society
"A major contribution to the museum field."-Indiana Magazine of History"