History Camp, the unconference for all things history
Boston 2015 Slides
We have slides posted from six sessions, check them out.
Cambridge 2014 Videos
In 2014, we posted four session videos, as well as slides.
Private tours and outings for the History Camp community
See what people are saying about History Camp
What is History Camp?
History Camp is an unparalleled opportunity to connect with authors and administrators, researchers and reenactors, educators and students, and others from all walks of life who are passionate about history. At History Camp, everyone is welcome. Anyone can attend. And anyone can present.
History Camp started in Cambridge in March 2014 and it was a hit. Here's one of the many comments we got, "I hoped it would be good . . . and it was great!"
If you love history, don't miss the next History Camp. If there's not one in your area planned, here's the DIY guide to creating your own History Camp.
What people are saying about History Camp
Learn more about the Iowa History Camp
This spring we started monthly outings that gave people signed up for the History Camp Boston mailing list unique opportunities to learn more about history. As you can see from the list of events for 2015 (below), there is a wide variety, and they all have one thing in common: These tours or walks had never[…]
Register now! The Museum of World War II is not a museum in the traditional sense. Most of the items are not behind cases and they don’t have many traditional displays, at least not yet. In fact, it has only been open to all but a small circle of friends for a few years. When[…]
Gore Place is the 1806 country estate of Massachusetts Governor Christopher Gore. Sometimes called “The Monticello of the North,” Gore Place is one of the most significant Federal Period mansions in New England. Gore Place has offered us a tour of the recently relocated and restored 1793 Carriage House while talking about adapting historic buildings for modern use. This would be followed by a tour of their next big project, the restoration of missing staircases and other elements in the kitchen and laundry areas, which would include a visit to a portion of the cellar which is not usually open to the public. Finally, they would take us on a quick walk through of the living quarters that are part of the usual house tour.
With the Freedom Trail as the centerpiece of Boston’s tourism industry, it’s easy to lose sight of another revolutionary period in our city’s history. The mid- to late-nineteenth century was a time of sudden, tumultuous change in Boston. With a wave of new immigrants threatening to upend the existing social order and new technologies enabling construction on a grander scale than ever before, civic leaders set out a bold plan to fill in Boston’s tidal Back Bay and create an elite residential neighborhood.
In September 1774, British royal rule broke down in Massachusetts. Thousands of rural militiamen crowded into Cambridge, demanding the resignation of Crown appointees. Within days the upper-class community of “Tory Row”—seven families bound together by marriage, religion, and wealth—fled to safer places, leaving their handsome mansions behind. This tour stops at each of those houses as J. L. Bell narrates the story of the “Powder Alarm” and the revolution in government that occurred eight months before the Revolutionary War.
Liz Covart, one of the core group who helped get History Camp going, wrote the brief for the walk and will lead one of the groups. I understand that Liz’s group may already be filled, or close. If that’s the case, and if you’d like to see if we can end up in one group, add “History[…]
Patti Violette, Executive Director of the Shirley-Eustis House Association and one of the participants in History Camp Boston this year, is extending a special invitation for a private tour of the L’Hermione and a reception and lecture on July 11. The private tour and reception are $25, and space is very limited. If you’re interested, contact Patti now since there aren’t many spots left.
June 27: Founders Trail Tour, a walking tour with Rose Doherty of the Partnership of the Historic Bostons
Rose Doherty, President of the Partnership of the Historic Bostons, is giving a special tour this coming Saturday morning, June 27, from 10 am – noon for History Camp alums and others who have a deep interest in history. We’ll visit the Founders Memorial, the sites of the Great Spring and the First Meeting House, Province House Steps, and more. The tour is free; the Partnership asks for a $5 donation.
On Saturday, May 9, Journal of the American Revolution editors and friends are planning a free group tour and discussion of the new Revolutionary War map exhibit at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center in the main Boston Public Library. The exhibit, entitled We are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence, is a “stunning exhibition of cartographic and geographic treasures.”
In October 1774 an angry seaman named Samuel Dyer arrived in Newport, describing how the Royal Navy had kidnapped him from Boston to London, how high government ministers had interrogated him about the Boston Tea Party, and how the Lord Mayor of London had helped him to return to America. Rhode Island Patriots fêted Dyer[…]
Two 18th century portraits that have been on display since the 1920s in the Hingham Historical Society’s house museum, the Old Ordinary, have now been attributed to an enslaved African American artist. Prince Demah‘s short life was eventful and included painting lessons in London, a brief commercial career in Boston, and service in an artillery regiment during[…]
Pushing the Envelope: A brief history of the U.S. Postal system by viewing postage stamps, with Henry Lukas
This session is for both stamp collectors and non-collectors. Learn about the history of the U.S. postal system from colonial times to the present by viewing stamps issued over the years starting in 1847. Hear about the many ways mail has been delivered, including using the Boston Post Road (America’s First Information Highway), the Santa Fe[…]
Maybe we should stop calling it ‘History:’ A roundtable discussion on making history relevant for today, with Neil Licht
All are invited to participate. Today, many are baffled by the chaotic state of our world. Long-trusted roadmaps and moral beliefs we were taught were the path to the good life no longer seem to apply. Young and old, we’re worried about our future and the future of our children and grandchildren. Those of us[…]
The Swastika, the Spy, and the Black Sun: a Historian’s Quest into the Murky Depths of Post-WWII Fascism, with Sam Clark
In 1960, a man lay dead in his San Francisco jail cell after having evidently taken his own life with a cyanide capsule. Days before, the FBI had arrested this strange character after airport security discovered that his luggage was full of multiple passports each with a different alias and country of origin. This session seeks to[…]
[slides] Decoding and Applying Common Core for Public Historians: Close Reading 19th Century Sources, with Mark Gardner
In this session, Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society archivist and American History teacher Mark Gardner (@HistoryGardner) will walk everyone through several hands-on exercises designed to familiarize the museum and historical society folks with the vernacular of the Common Core, in particular close reading, lenses, and response to informational text. Using primary source materials not[…]
Overlooked by even town histories, the 1775 dysentery epidemic impacted many families. And although the epidemic didn’t change the outcome of the war, this talk will examine how it changed the lives of many who fought in it. Presenter: Judy Cataldo. Photos courtesy of Jacob Sconyers.
John Trumbull’s Portraiture in an Iconic Historical Painting of the Revolutionary Era, with Sam Forman
Architect Rick Detwiller has identified for study whether the controversial patriot James Swan (1751-1830) is depicted as the hitherto anonymous protector of the mortally wounded Joseph Warren in the central vignette of Trumbull’s precedent setting historical painting “Bunker’s Hill.” The resulting inquiry provides a window into Trumbull’s design, visual storytelling, and meticulous individual portraiture of[…]
Saving the Reality: A Local Museum’s Mission in Preserving One of the World’s Most Significant WWII Collections, with Travis Roland
Considered by many to house the most comprehensive collection of WW2 artifacts and documents in the world, the museum is home to over 8,000 original artifacts, from personal items of famous world leaders at the time, to once Top Secret Invasion Plans of Normandy and Iwo Jima, to treaties that literally changed the course of[…]
For over a century, artists and storytellers have been taking stories that existed in their heads and placed them into a series of panels to make comic strips and books. In this workshop, comic book writer and editor Jason Rodriguez will be showing you how to craft your own history comic books, starting with an[…]
Despite being known for traditional educational programming like lectures, walking and house tours, and exhibitions, we recently collaborated to present successful site-specific, first-person immersive living history programs. The Newport Historical Society (NHS) used the city itself as the backdrop and setting for the Stamp Act Protest commemorating the 1765 Stamp Act riots in that town.[…]
Living History: Historic House Museums and the Classroom Teacher: The Age of Medicine and Midwifery, with Patricia Violette
The primary goal of any Living History Program is to provide a hands-on, experiential learning environment which fulfills the need for a creative approach to social studies. Living history is designed to stimulate student interest in learning about the human side of history and involves not only social studies but English, mathematics, and science as[…]
(Roundtable) Ideas for Programming, Outreach, and Operations of Smaller History Organizations: What worked what didn’t, and what we learned from it
Unlike the typical session, this will consist of exchanging ideas amongst all the participants rather than one person presenting. The proposed format is to go around the room, giving every person who has a specific initiative or lesson learned 2 – 4 minutes to describe what they did and what they learned about it. If[…]
This presentation, with extensive slides, is based on my recently published book (which is not for sale). It consists of brief profiles of men who served as Union Army and Navy officers in the Civil War. The majority of officers profiled (and pictured) are ancestors of members of the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military Order of[…]
There were 124 paintings of local homesteads and landscapes done by noted artist Ellen M Carpenter over the period 1875-1908. These paintings appear in the book, “Historical Reminiscences of the Early Times in Marlborough, Massachusetts,” by Ella Bigelow, published in 1910. Today the paintings are owned easy to find: They’re on display at the Marlborough Library. But what[…]
Traces the history of the delivery of mail from Boston to New York and beyond from early colonial days to the present. Learn about early postmasters, postal riders and early rest stops, including the Wayside Inn. Hear descriptions of traveling on the Post Road by postal riders carrying letters and newspapers from Massachusetts through Connecticut and[…]
The Salem Witch Trials: The Accused, Their Accusers, and the American Experience, with Marilynne Roach and Emerson Baker
Salem witch trials experts Marilynne Roach and Emerson “Tad” Baker will discuss their recent books, as well as America’s on-going fascination with Salem and witchcraft. Roach, who appeared on the Daily Show in January 2014 is most recently the author of Six Women of Salem: the Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials. Baker,[…]
[slides] Soldiers in Our Homes: The French and Indian War & Quartering in Albany, New York, 1756-1763, with Liz Covart
Explores how the French and Indian War and the act of military quartering caused the people of Albany, New York to confront the British Empire in close, intimate terms. This talk will reveal the lasting implications of this confrontation and how it helped the people of Albany decide whether they would become Patriots, Loyalists, or[…]
The goal of this panel is to inspire others about how they can share their passion for history using traditional and new media, including blogs, podcasts, and digital apps. Moderator: Liz Covart, Early American Historian, Blogger, and Host of “Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History,” (@lizcovart) Photos courtesy of Lee Wright and Jacob Sconyers.
[slides] (Panel) Don’t let History Get STEAMrolled: Practical approaches to getting kids engaged with history
Participating Panelists: Patricia Violette, Executive Director of the Shirley-Eustis House; Paul Wexler, a history teacher at Needham High School who has been using National History Day as a way to engage students; Kyle Jenks, who wrote, produced and directed a play about Colonial history in the Mohawk Valley of upstate NY for middle school children; Rayshauna Gray,[…]
From its primordial origins as a Native American fishing camp to the present, Natick, Massachusetts has experienced a series of astonishing events and extraordinary transformations. Join us as we explore the genesis of this unique community and the lessons it has for all. Presenter: Peter Golden