Now published for the first time in paperback, this international collection draws together museum professionals, family and local historians, re-enactors, archivists and a range of public history contributors to discuss and explore particular forms of public history. Here, people's experience and understanding of their personal, national and local pasts are central to the creation of different histories. Different understandings of the past are interrogated, analysed - and valued. Everyday experience alongside the moments of larger narratives are juxtaposed and subjected to scrutiny. For some scholars, public history is simply the presentation of history by professional historians to 'the public', but in this original collection people are seen as active agents in the development of innovative and dynamic ways of understanding the past and creating histories for the present and future.
Paul Ashton is Professor of Public History at the University of Technology, Sydney. Co-editor of the journal Public History Review and Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Public History, his latest book is (with Paula Hamilton and Rose Searby) Places of the Heart: Memorials in Australia. Hilda Kean is former Dean and Director of Public History at Ruskin College, Oxford. Her books include Seeing History. Public History in Britain Now (with Paul Martin and Sally J. Morgan); London Stories. Personal lives, Public Histories and Animal Rights. Social and Political Change in Britain since 1800.