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Author: Steven Lubar

“Just measure, cut and bolt together”

“Just measure, cut and bolt together”

I which I find out what I don’t know about building things by building things. Making a potting bench. On Medium. https://medium.com/@lubar/just-measure-cut-and-bolt-together-4a48c9dd2647   https://medium.com/@lubar/just-measure-cut-and-bolt-together-4a48c9dd2647

Museums are places to forget

Museums are places to forget

Museums are places to forget. An essay, illustrated with poems and images, on the ways that museums are used to forget things that society would prefer not to remember, and the ways in which museum forget things they should remember. On Medium.  https://medium.com/@lubar/museums-are-places-to-forget-ba76a92c5701

New book!

New book!

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book is almost out! You can pre-order it on Amazon! Find it at an independent bookseller at IndieBound! Read all about it at the Harvard University Press site! Available in July! Great blurbs! My deep thanks to Lonnie Bunch and Richard Kurin for their kind words: “In this volume, Steven Lubar, among the most thoughtful scholars and professionals in the field, turns “museum” into a verb, taking us behind the scenes to show how collecting, exhibiting, and…

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Catalog History: The New York Crystal Palace

Catalog History: The New York Crystal Palace

A four part series on Medium, “Cataloging History,” on the history and practice of museum catalogs, focusing on the publications of the 1853 New York Crystal Palace fair: Part 1: A brief history of American museum catalogs to 1860 Part 2: The New York Crystal Palace Catalogs Part 3: Catalog as Book, File, and Database And coming soon! Part 4, on what we can learn from analyzing the catalog as database.   Why Medium for these? I’m experimenting with heavily illustrated essays, and…

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I asked students to write the syllabus. You won’t believe what happened next.

I asked students to write the syllabus. You won’t believe what happened next.

Yesterday was the first day of the new semester, and the first day of “Introduction to Public Humanities.” I’ve taught this course most years since I established the public humanities program twelve years ago. It’s the theory half of the introductory courses, paired with “Methods in Public Humanities.” It’s usually taught in the fall. But I was on leave, and so this year the public humanities students got methods first, and then theory. It’s an interesting philosophical question: which comes first, the method…

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What might historic preservation learn from museums?

What might historic preservation learn from museums?

Every year, the Providence Preservation Society sponsors a symposium on key issues in historic preservation. This year’s symposium, on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1966 historic preservation act, asked:  Why Preserve?  From the introduction: The 2016 Providence Symposium, Why Preserve?, will bring together experts from across the nation as well as local stakeholders to examine why historic preservation matters to Providence and all communities. To be held at the iconic but threatened Industrial Trust Building, the Symposium will launch a…

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Making things

Making things

I’ve finished my “Lessons from the Lost Museum” book manuscript and I’m starting to think about a new project. I’ve gotten in the habit of writing and may as well keep at it! The new project is about making and technical skill. Not sure how to frame it, or what the end product might be. I’ll teach a class on this in the fall to think it through. I know that part of it will be actually making things. Here’s a first attempt…

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“Collecting and Collections” course & stamp exhibit

“Collecting and Collections” course & stamp exhibit

Head over to the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities blog for a post Sarah Dylla and I wrote about our course last semester, AMST1510, Museum Collecting and Collections. And head over to the John Hay Library where you can see the course exhibition, Thousands of Little Colored Windows: Brown University’s Stamp Collections. A few pictures of the exhibit…  

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