From March through June 2010 I have a Fulbright fellowship to undertake an independent research project on city history, city identity, and city museums in Helsinki, Finland. I hope to chronicle my research progress through this blog. Here’s my elevator pitch:
In simple terms, my project looks at how cities tell their stories. It has three parts:
- Theory: What is the relationship between a city’s history and it’s unique sense of place?
- Comparison: Boston and Helsinki
- Practice: How can city museums do a better job presenting city history to the public?
The third part—practice—is the most important to me. My ultimate goal with this research is to improve my own public history practice, and to help my colleagues at other city museums do the same. But the first two parts—theory and comparison—are essential to fully understand the third.