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January 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm
Good things to consider. Conclusions/Afterwords are always hard for me. Interestingly, on Pinterest, there are pinned images of decorating and craft ideas with saved postage stamps–not unlike what was found in women’s mags from the 1880s! Websites, yes. And there is definitely lots of selling on eBay. I should probably incorporate that a little more.
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January 27, 2015 at 4:00 pm
Your book draws attention to the ways in which collectors operate in a complicated discourse that includes federal agents and a variety of local or regional “officials” in an ongoing effort to negotiate authority and legitimacy in the realm of identity making and the creation of a national historical narrative. I think you could, in your conclusion, draw readers attention there and ask questions about what the arena of discourse looks like now. Do stamp collections appear on pinterest? Are there websites for stamp enthusiasts? Are their collections more valuable because stamps are less ubiquitous? What does all this mean in the long term about the relative power of collectors?
January 27, 2015 at 3:55 pm
Good suggestion, I’ll take a look at this again. Your point about tension is well taken, especially as I think about these stamps being collected and cared for as the real thing–as pieces of national identity–vs traces of the real vernacular things–HABs documentation.
January 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm
Hmmmm…. perhaps I should not ask a question until I read the entire book, huh? This addresses the issue I asked about in the section on vernacular history making.
January 27, 2015 at 3:40 pm
You might want to cite some books on the specific programs. Taken as a whole, these works describe this as a period in which there was a serious effort to “document” America’s traditions and communities. These efforts were (perhaps ironically) fueled by a sense of urgency –these were disappearing traditions. So, for example, HABS documented historic structures because many would be demolished. Folk stories were collected before memory of them disappeared. There’s a weird tension between the desire to preserve and the belief that progress necessarily erased these vernacular forms of identity. Jerrold Hirsch: Portrait of America; maybe John Rayburn A Staggering Revolution;
January 27, 2015 at 1:52 pm
Yes, and that is in the next chapter.
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