Sample Pages

Public history depends on citizens’ trying to see themselves in larger cultural narratives. The passions that motivate campaigns to save a place typically stem from a drive to preserve something that illustrates a story of “our people.” Whether those impulses are curatorial (saving the buildings and artifacts), urbanist and contextual (saving the place or location), or experiential (saving the feeling and association the place inspires), they derive from groups pushing a specific version of history.

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The challenges of crafting a shared history continued to confront Germantown, but now opportunities suggested themselves. Rather than having too many descendant-based groups celebrating the story of their people, historic buildings of Germantown allowed the recovery of the stories of all sorts of different groups and their respective histories

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