What was the Freedmen’s Bureau? Who operated it, and what purposes did it serve? What types of records about the Freedmen’s Bureau still exist, and to what uses might we put those records? What role did the Freedmen’s Bureau play in the lives of individual African Americans and Native Americans? Read our interview with James Downs for a preview of his upcoming talk at the 2016 Civil War Institute Conference. Downs is Associate Professor of History and American Studies at Connecticut College. His most recent book, Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering During the Civil War and Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2012), tells the largely unknown story of the many former slaves who died at the moment of freedom. Downs has also published on representations of slavery in museums and historic landmarks in the United States, England, and the Bahamas.
ON THE FRONT LINES OF HISTORY
8 Gettysburg College students had the opportunity to attend part of the 2016 National Council on Public History (NCPH) annual meeting, held March 16-19 in Baltimore. A membership association dedicated to making the past useful in the present and to encouraging collaboration between historians and their publics, NCPH is the nation’s leading professional organization for public historians. The organization establishes professional standards, ethics, and best practices; provides professional development opportunities; fosters networking and a sense of community among public history practitioners; maintains the popular blog History@Work; supports history education; and publishes the field’s journal of record, The Public Historian. CWI Associate Director Jill Ogline Titus is currently wrapping up a three-year term on the organization’s board of directors. The students attended conference sessions on topics ranging from international public history, historic preservation & gentrification, Confederate monuments, and ghost tours at historic sites, networked with Gettysburg College alumni working in public history, and got a taste of interdisciplinary and geographical breadth of the field. Read some of their impressions here.
Curious about what to expect at the Civil War Institute Summer Conference? Watch this video to see what sets the CWI conference apart! Learn more about the conference here. In 2016, CWI will offer a unique program focused on Reconstruction & the Legacy of the Civil War. Click here to register for the 2016 Summer Conference.