Letting Go?: Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World

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Bill Adair, Benjamin Filene, Laura Koloski
Left Coast Press, Sep 15, 2011 - Art - 335 pages
Letting Go? investigates path-breaking public history practices at a time when the traditional expertise of museums seems challenged at every turn—by the Web and digital media, by community-based programming, by new trends in oral history and by contemporary art. In this anthology of 19 thought pieces, case studies, conversations and commissioned art, almost 30 leading practitioners such as Michael Frisch, Jack Tchen, Liz Ševcenko, Kathleen McLean, Nina Simon, Otabenga Jones and Associates, and Fred Wilson explore the implications of letting audiences create, not just receive, historical content. Drawing on examples from history, art, and science museums, Letting Go? offers concrete examples and models that will spark innovative work at institutions of all sizes and budgets. This engaging new collection will serve as an introductory text for those newly grappling with a changing field and, for those already pursuing the goal of “letting go,” a tool for taking stock and pushing ahead.

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Introduction Bill Adair Benjamin Filene and Laura Koloski
Authority and the Web
Communities as Curators
Sharing Authority through Oral History
Understanding the Vistors Response
Artists and Historical Authority

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About the author (2011)

Bill Adair is director of the Heritage Philadelphia Program, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. Benjamin Filene is director of public history and associate professor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and author of Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music (New York Times Notable Book 2001). Laura Koloski is a senior program specialist with the Heritage Philadelphia Program, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

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