Continuing the Park System Visualization Experiment: Ontario Parks in Timeline Form

Back in February I explained how I am using interactive timelines to more easily analyze the develop of state and provincial park systems in the United States and Canada. In “Visualizing a Park System: Creating an Interactive Timeline,” I explained how I developed a label/colour system (see below) and mapped the development of Pennsylvania’s state …

That Ain’t Natural or Adventures in Being an Academic Killjoy I

Last night I cracked open an Images of America–a popular history series that seeks to tell lesser known aspects of American history through photographs and other images–instalment by Eugene H. Ware. The volume is dedicated to the history of Presque Isle State Park and the land on which it was created. The images themselves are fascinating, …

Sunshine and Frustration: Reflections on the Joys and Challenges of a Large-Scale, Transnational Dissertation

Note: This blog post originally appeared on AHA Today.    “Sorry, We’re Closed,” read the sign on the door of the small Albertan museum I had traveled hours to get to and planned to conduct research at last Monday. I sighed, “What now?” I thought to myself as I climbed back into my car … I think it is …

“Do not want hippies, motorcycles or Catholics”: The Public’s Vision for Fish Creek PP, 1974

I have written on numerous occasions, even fashioned an entire article, on the necessity for park historians to bring the voice of the general public to the forefront of park history. Giving voice to the people for whom the parks were created or to those who were directly affected by the park creation is not …

Social Media Comments as Sources: How?

As an accidental social media guru, I’ve grown increasingly interested in how to use social media to assist with my research. Not just to connect with other academics and to propagate my opinions and ideas to the wider public, but as a source–a place from which to garner public opinion on historical topics and contemporary …

Hagiographically-Induced Cringing: A Snippet on The Cook Family and Cook Forest State Park

I just began reading Eastern Old-Growth Forest: Prospects for Rediscovery and Recovery (1996); just began is not an overstatement, I just finished the Foreward. Nonetheless, a passage in the Foreward by John Davis demands a brief comment: “Even as it underscores the importance of whole communities and ecosystems, old growth assures us quietly yet grandiosely that individuals …