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.

4/6/16 – Santa Anita in the 1940s

Recently, the SHRA research team had the opportunity to visit Santa Anita Park, a horse racing venue in Arcadia, CA.  They saw a statue of Seabiscuit, an unlikely champion thoroughbred whose last triumphant race was run there on March 2, 1940.  The race, the Santa Anita Handicap, had a purse of $125,000 and Seabiscuit had… Read the Rest »

3/30/16 – Jennifer Stevens answers “Ask a Consulting Historian”

This week on History@Work, the National Council on Public History’s blog, SHRA’s own Jennifer Stevens is profiled in their “Ask a Consulting Historian” series.  If you’ve ever wondered what a career in entrepreneurial history looks like, thought about pursuing history as a career, or just wanted to know more about SHRA, you can do so… Read the Rest »

3/7/16 – The History of the U.S. Botanic Garden

It’s been mighty cold here in Boise and in an attempt to warm up I swiped through cell phone pictures from spring and summer. While doing so, I stumbled upon photographs I’d taken while at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. My sister, mother, and I vacationed in our nation’s capital over Memorial Day… Read the Rest »

2/17/16 – Comets

For thousands of years the night sky has elicited awe and inspiration. Cultures from around the world have drawn spiritual connections to the twinkling stars and the various shapes of the moon, but perhaps nothing has captivated the human population as much as comets. Last month I came across 19th-century sketches of comets while conducting… Read the Rest »

2/10/16 – A History of Valentine’s Day

My husband refuses to celebrate Valentine’s Day. He spits proclamations of it being a manufactured holiday and for years has eschewed the red roses, sparkling jewelry, and rich chocolate. While Valentine’s Day certainly isn’t my favorite holiday, February 14th falls into this lull where the end-of-the-year holidays are over and spring hasn’t quite sprung. So… Read the Rest »

2/3/16 – The Legacy of Public Libraries – Then and Now, Part III

The American metal industry and public libraries have a fascinating and intertwined history. Glimpses into this rather unexpected historical narrative can be explored in the two previous installments of this blog series, available here and here. But nowhere is the connection between these two entities more pronounced than in the philanthropic work of Andrew Carnegie. Andrew… Read the Rest »

1/27/16 – Up in Smoke

We conduct a lot of research in historic trade journals here at SHRA. While some might find the task of going through a 400-page bound volume rather tedious, as historians, we have great fun from the moment the weary spine of a volume squeaks back to life until we close the massive book and plumes… Read the Rest »

12/16/15 – The Transformation of American Christmas

If I were to hand you a calendar and ask you to point out the most American of our national holidays, which one would you choose?  The Fourth of July and Thanksgiving would be clear frontrunners, but would you choose Christmas?  There is an argument to be made that you should. In our country’s pre-history,… Read the Rest »

12/9/15 – The History of the War Assets Administration

On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan’s naval and air forces of attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, a date that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt exclaimed “would live in infamy.”[1] He quite accurately anticipated that this event would mark a pivotal moment in American history. In commemoration of that date, this week’s blog… Read the Rest »

11/25/15 – Meatless Monday

“Meatless, Wheatless, and Sweetless!” It sounds more like a modern fad diet than something you would see in the archives. But alas, that is precisely where SHRA stumbled upon this intriguing statement. We found the phrase so compelling we had to dig deeper. As history would have it, the origins of the phrase can be… Read the Rest »

1 3 4 5 6 7 20