Thursday, July 10, 2008

Common-place: A Site for History Buffs

I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing from a few of you patient souls who take the time to read my blog and then to comment. My subject matter has certainly wandered far astray, at times, from the original intent. But, that is how my mind works and if a blog is to be representative of its creator than the peripatetic nature of this site meets that criteria.

From comments and feedback received, I sense there is an interest in history and particularly American History among my readers and I would like to recommend this online journal to anyone fascinated with life in America prior to the 1900s. I especially like it because it combines the study of history with a discussion of worthy ideas and does so while emphasizing the use of language.

Common-place is a common place for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit friendlier than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Common-place speaks--and listens--to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900. Common-place is a common place for all sorts of people to read about all sorts of things relating to early American life--from architecture to literature, from politics to parlor manners.

also aims to be a place for elegant prose and worthy ideas. Not perhaps, as elegant and worthy as the snippets of prose early Americans liked to jot down in their own commonplace books but more elegant, we hope, than much purely scholarly writing, particularly the kind that comes chock full of jargon. And, unlike much popular writing about history, which tends to focus on great men and great events, Common-place embraces the commonplace, or ordinary, in American life.

Our features, reviews, and columns track the lives of ordinary men and women, embracing new scholarship, teaching, and exhibits that explore all aspects of America's past and its many peoples.

With the exception of a few daguerrotypes (invented in 1839) Common-place won't dazzle you with snazzy graphics. But it will take you on a tour of what's best in early American scholarship, teaching, and curatorship--and it will take advantage of the web's most important feature: bringing people together to discuss ideas.

Common-place readers can join in the discussion of any of our features, reviews, and columns by visiting the Republic of Letters, an on-line messageboard.

The Common-Place Coffeeshop offers readers a place to discuss the contents of the articles and although it hasn't had much activity I think we could help generate some interesting and worthy discussion.

This online journal is sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society in association with the Florida State University Department of History. It is published quarterly, in October, January, April, and July. Previous issues can be viewed at the website.

Happy reading !!

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