This book is a study of the establishment and development of historical societies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century American West. It concentrates on the people who created the historical societies of Kansas, Oregon, and Wisconsin, from the first charter generation through to the first generation of professional historical society workers. This study fills an important gap in the knowledge of the role those outside of the academy have held in the process of history making, namely the role of state historical societies.
Amanda Laugesen is Lecturer in History and American Studies at Flinders University.
Acknowledgements; Preface Professor Ian Tyrell; 1. Introduction; 2. A Country to be Settled, A History to be Written; 3. Temples of Knowledge and Scholars' Workshops: the Evolution of the Historical Society, 1870-1910; 4. Stories and Histories; 5. Ambiguities of the Deep Past: Museums, Relics, and the Making of Knowledge; 6. Inscribing Place: Historical Societies and Ephemeral Celebrations; 7. Memorials, Monuments, and the Making of Public Historical Culture; Bibliography; Index.