Readers of H-Rural may be interested in some of the posts appearing lately in the Museums of Minnesota blog on H-Midwest. Many of them are coming from county historical societies in the state. Curators and archivists have been sharing documents and photos from their collections that tell histories from the area that are largely tales of rural life in the upper Midwest.
Op-Ed and letter to Governor Terry Branstad from 10 history department chairs at Iowa colleges and universities:
Associated Press story on misuse of funds by Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs leaders:
The situation in Iowa is depressing.
A larger problem. Most of us make archives and libraries our priority, but we are few in number. Historical societies depend on museum displays for crowds. To a lesser extent, university archives and special collections face a similar challenge. Often they are empty, almost never crowded.
I appreciate Jennifer Van Haaften's commentary about the State Historical Society of Iowa. However, the emotion I would associate with the transformation of the Iowa Historical Society is not excitement, but grief. Before further discussion on this, it is important to get the facts on the table.