Encyclopedia of Local History

Edited by Amy H. Wilson

Hardback - £125.00

Publication date:

06 February 2017

Length of book:

814 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442278776

The Encyclopedia of Local History addresses nearly every aspect of local history, including everyday issues, theoretical approaches, and trends in the field. This encyclopedia provides both the casual browser and the dedicated historian with adept commentary by bringing the voices of over one hundred experts together in one place.

Entries include:

·Terms specifically related to the everyday practice of interpreting local history in the United States, such as “African American History,” “City Directories,” and “Latter-Day Saints.”
·Historical and documentary terms applied to local history such as “Abstract,” “Culinary History,” and “Diaries.”
·Detailed entries for major associations and institutions that specifically focus on their usage in local history projects, such as “Library of Congress” and “Society of American Archivists”
·Entries for every state and Canadian province covering major informational sources critical to understanding local history in that region.
·Entries for every major immigrant group and ethnicity.

Brand-new to this edition are critical topics covering both the practice of and major current areas of research in local history such as “Digitization,” “LGBT History,” museum theater,” and “STEM education.” Also new to this edition are graphics, including 48 photographs.

Overseen by a blue-ribbon Editorial Advisory Board (Anne W. Ackerson, James D. Folts, Tim Grove, Carol Kammen, and Max A. van Balgooy) this essential reference will be frequently consulted in academic libraries with American and Canadian history programs, public libraries supporting local history, museums, historic sites and houses, and local archives in the U.S. and Canada.

This third edition is the first to include photographs.
While history keeps changing and incorporating significant elements of the past, so do handbooks like this third iteration focused on doing, appreciating, and conveying stories of people and entities with specific geographic connections. Intended for public and academic libraries (although practitioners might also appreciate owning it), this edition is longer by over 100 pages than the second, ed. by Carol Kammen, with (now-solo author) Wilson, an independent museum consultant. The encyclopedia's reissue after a mere half-decade attests to its emphasis on diversity and multiple, evolving perspectives. Essays are by academics (both professors and students), or government and public-history scholars or managers. Some are new since earlier editions, and some are reprinted (notably those by Michael Kammen, who died in 2013.) There are appendixes on ethnic and religious groups, state historical associations, and National Archives and Records Administration facilities, plus a listing of state archivists (although difficult to keep current in the printed format). Brief biographies of selected contributors list their entries and for some, their academic positions and degrees. Some of the unsigned entries appear to be the work of the editorial board. Cross-references rather than an index lead users to related essays. This new edition maintains and advances the goals of local history and public history.

Summing Up:
Recommended. All libraries. All levels.