This blog offers SHRA associates a less formal place to write about the intersection of current events, academia and history. We will also share "finds" from the various primary sources we examine. We post both Features, our long form pieces, and Vignettes, fun, interesting and notable shorts that we think would be of interest to our readers but that don’t warrant a longer analysis. To see some of our longer analytical pieces, click on Features. For shorter reads, click on Vignettes.

11/30/12: Abraham Lincoln and the Gem State

If it seems like you come across Abraham Lincoln at every turn in Idaho’s capital, you wouldn’t be far off. You might encounter him while walking through Julia Davis Park, driving along Capitol Boulevard, or grabbing a cup of java. The iconic Lincoln continues to keep a hold on our national imagination, as well, with… Read the Rest »

11/16/12: “Franksgiving” – Why Thanksgiving is when it is

Next week, we will sit down and observe that most American of celebrations – Thanksgiving. For generations, the fourth Thursday of November has been set aside to mark this tradition, and few people today realize that Thanksgiving was not nationally recognized until the late 19th century, let alone that it did not enjoy a fixed… Read the Rest »

10/19/12: How the Historian Can Help in Superfund Cases

One of SHRA’s areas of specialization is expert litigation support. Since some of our readers may not be familiar with that facet of our work, we wanted to explore various types of cases in which our historians have provided expert research, analysis and sworn testimony in support of a legal argument. We’re going to start… Read the Rest »

9/21/12: A Look Back at the 1912 Presidential Election and its Parallels to Today

NPR teased its listeners on Wednesday morning with this: “It’s hard to be a Democrat in the Deep South.” The teaser was a plug for a political story that aired later that day and no doubt mentioned the increasingly contentious upcoming presidential race. It’s likely that some of the story’s interviewees may have lamented our… Read the Rest »

9/7/12: The Evolution of American Public Education

With autumn approaching, school buses and children carrying backpacks have again become a common sight in most communities. And, as in most election cycles, many communities are facing ballot measures over school funding, union rights, or some other related issue that will have a major impact on their public educational institutions. In Idaho, a ballot… Read the Rest »

8/23/12: SHRA’s Stephanie Milne Shares Her Path to a Career in Public History

“What are you going to do with that?!” It’s the question I was asked most often while attending graduate school. Fortunately, the Master in Applied Historical Research (MAHR) Program at Boise State University allowed me to answer that skeptical question. The Boise State University History Department has innovatively developed a two-prong approach to the study… Read the Rest »

8/10/12: Remembering the Great Fires of 1910

As Idaho, Colorado, and other western states suffer through another season of wildfires that claim lives and homes and pollute the summer air, we remember our region’s long history of forest fires and the evolution of the U. S. Forest Service’s approach to them over the past 100 years. Author and journalist Timothy Egan has… Read the Rest »

8/1/12: SHRA’s Spring 2012 Newsletter

SHRA SPRING 2012 NEWSLETTER Clink on the link above to take a look at our latest newsletter that was mailed in June. Our Facebook fans already know that the National Archives at Seattle highlighted our “Archive Archaeology” story on their Facebook page today, August 1; the story that sparked their post can be found on… Read the Rest »

7/27/12: The Path to the Modern Olympics

In the run-up to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, there has been a deluge of print, TV and internet coverage on everything from infrastructure upgrades, security concerns, cost overruns, political shenanigans and especially the human interest stories that make the athletes and their accomplishments transcend from the simply incredible to the mythic. Much is also… Read the Rest »

7/10/12: Historical Research and the Importance of Cursive Writing

Historical research often bears a resemblance to detective work. Following clues, gathering evidence and piecing together sources can lead to a triumphant “aha!” moment when a key question is answered or can gradually construct a large historical narrative for the topic at hand. Investigating a historic question can mean reading books, searching for original documents,… Read the Rest »

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