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Inspired Wordsmith
krb2g
Posts: 289
Registered: ‎02-05-2008

Re: History and Preservation ** Possible Spoiler**

I agree with much of what people are saying about the distinction between historians and preservationists, but I would add another wrinkle to the discussion. Historians have an open field when they leave their work behind them; that is, you can write a book about the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, and then you can write about the role of midwives whenever, so that writing about the one doesn't close off the possibilities of writing about the other.

 

A preservationist, on the other hand, often has to make very real choices about which history he or she wants to present and preserve. For example, Colonial Williamsburg has chosen to restore all its houses and buildings as nearly as possible to their condition in 1773. Or, closer to home for me, James Madison's house, Montpelier, was bought by the DuPont family, and they added massive wings to the sides of the house. The house existed for a longer period of time with the wings added, but they are now taking them off and reconstructing the house as it was when Madison lived in it because that is the history they prefer to present.

 

Preservationists also have to work in/around modern conveniences: for example, lots of historic homes are wired for electricity, heat/air, and indoor plumbing in ways that they weren't originally. 

 

**Possible spoiler**

 

I think we get a reflection of this reality most clearly in the book when Connie decides to put a telephone in her grandmother's house. (Now I've forgotten when she actually puts the phone in): obviously the phone wasn't there originally, and as the maintance man tells her and her mother confirms, Sophia had a phone put in and then later taken out. If Connie wanted to keep the house strictly as it had been, such an addition would have been impossible. 

 

**End spoiler**

MYK
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MYK
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎03-24-2009
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Re: History and Preservation


rkubie wrote:

Do you see a difference in the way Connie looks at the past, as a historian, and the way Sam looks at the past, as a preservationist, trying to maintain it?

 

Are you more of a historian or a preservationist?

 

How do these two roles aide the progress of Connie's research?

 

 


Well. If I have this question right..It seems they have switched roles. Now Connie is concerned about preserving and Sam becomes interested  about the history (the story) of the lives of people in the past.

 

I am both. History provokes me to see what has been preserved. Preservation provokes me to know the history.

 

Connie's acquired knowledge of research, determination, and curiosity combined with the actual visualization of objects ignites her passion for the past to be revealed. Connie was now having deep emotion for the past story. As well as a newfound "talent". Works that come from the heart seem to give everything more substance.

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fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: History and Preservation

Connie looks at the past to gain facts of setting and people from a distance.  She catagorizes what she learns, writes it down, etc.

 

Sam as a preservationist looks at the past and tries to reconstruct it.  He is trying to redo what exists to  look like it did in the past.  His actions are "hands on".

 

MG

 

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AMoriarty
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎12-20-2008

Re: History and Preservation

I found it interesting that so far in the book most of the librarians or people working in archives have been kind of miserable characters! Very unsupportive and intolerant. It seems as if Connie, the historian and presumably lover of books and knowledge, doesn't not like librarians!
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Immortal-Spirit
Posts: 143
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
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Re: History and Preservation

I would definitely fall into the historian catagory. 

 

With Connie, she (obviously) loves to know about how a people lived, worked, etc.  But at the same time, Sam could tell her practical things that you can't get in a book.  They made for a great team in figuring things out. 

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floreader
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎09-15-2008
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Re: History and Preservation

Connie is interested in preserving the story of how people lived in the past.  She does this through researching old documents and books.  Sam is interested in preserving and restoring builidings and things from the past in order to preserve the history of the period.  Both ways of preserving the past are important.  Sam's role as a preservationist helps Connie in her research as he explains what certains items mean as she explores the past. 
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TRJ4SQ
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
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Re: History and Preservation-RESPONSES TO MODERATOR QUESTIONS

1. Do you see a difference in the way Connie looks at the past, as a historian, and the way Sam looks at the past, as a preservationist, trying to maintain it?

 

As a historian, Connie views the past with an objective, or perhaps almost passive eye. Her interest lies mainly in the information she is able to glean from the historical sources. With this information, she creates theory. Sam looks at the past in a more concrete manner but makes creative allowances. His interest lies in keeping the history safe for future generations.

 

2. How do these two roles aide the progress of Connie's research?

 

Connie picks up the puzzle pieces and puts them in place. Same keeps them there.

 

3. Are you more of a historian or a preservationist?

 

I am both a historian and a preservationist. I research the histories and gather the documents, books and photos, etc. I am also charged with keeping them well and safe for future generations of our family.

 

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EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
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Re: History and Preservation


rkubie wrote:

Do you see a difference in the way Connie looks at the past, as a historian, and the way Sam looks at the past, as a preservationist, trying to maintain it?

 

Are you more of a historian or a preservationist?

 

How do these two roles aide the progress of Connie's research?

 

 


 

I think history and preservation go hand in hand.  The only difference I see is that preservation ,(at least on Sam's part), seems to concern buildings more than people.

In Connie's research, she needs both.  

It would be hard to say whether I am more of a historian or preservationist.  In a way, without history, there is/would be no need for preservation.  Then again, it is the preservation that makes history. 

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cocospals
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎12-25-2007

Re: History and Preservation

Do you see a difference in the way Connie looks at the past, as a historian, and the way Sam looks at the past, as a preservationist, trying to maintain it?

 

Connie looks at history as facts and figures, concrete events, things that have happened and cannot be changed whereas Sam sees how things have changed, how buildings have deteriorated, etc.,  and wants it back the way it is. I think Sam sees the beauty of the structure, the history of the structure.

 

Are you more of a historian or a preservationist?

 

I think they are inter-linked.  I don't think you can be a historian without acknowledging the buildings, the settings, all the "background" stuff that goes with the facts and figures. And I don't think you can be a preservationist without acknowledging the history of the period surrounding the structure.  For example: I was fortunate to attend church this week at a 103 year old church that was built by a certain culteral group. While I was so intrigued with the beauty of the structure, the ornateness of the alter, etc., the history of how this church was formed and why was just as facinnating as the building itself.

 

How do these two roles aide the progress of Connie's research?

 

I think that at some point in the book, they too will inter-link and the picture will become clearer.

Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
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aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008
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Re: History and Preservation


cocospals wrote:

Do you see a difference in the way Connie looks at the past, as a historian, and the way Sam looks at the past, as a preservationist, trying to maintain it?

 

Connie looks at history as facts and figures, concrete events, things that have happened and cannot be changed whereas Sam sees how things have changed, how buildings have deteriorated, etc.,  and wants it back the way it is. I think Sam sees the beauty of the structure, the history of the structure.

 

Are you more of a historian or a preservationist?

 

I think they are inter-linked.  I don't think you can be a historian without acknowledging the buildings, the settings, all the "background" stuff that goes with the facts and figures. And I don't think you can be a preservationist without acknowledging the history of the period surrounding the structure.  For example: I was fortunate to attend church this week at a 103 year old church that was built by a certain culteral group. While I was so intrigued with the beauty of the structure, the ornateness of the alter, etc., the history of how this church was formed and why was just as facinnating as the building itself.

 

How do these two roles aide the progress of Connie's research?

 

I think that at some point in the book, they too will inter-link and the picture will become clearer.


 

I like your answer to the question "Are you more of a historian or a preservationist?". I couldn't have said it better myself!:smileyhappy:
April
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Ronrose
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-24-2009

Re: History and Preservation

I am very much in touch with the way Connie views the past as an historian. When she searched through the records office in the Athenaeum and found Prudence's diary, it really struck a cord with me. I do genealogical research for my family and I have been lucky enough to come across finds similar to this in dusty, long undisturbed files. Katherine captures the feelings that run through one in such situations and imparts them to the reader in a true and meaningful way. 
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Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: History and Preservation


rkubie wrote:

Do you see a difference in the way Connie looks at the past, as a historian, and the way Sam looks at the past, as a preservationist, trying to maintain it?

 

Are you more of a historian or a preservationist?

 

How do these two roles aide the progress of Connie's research?

 

 


There is a difference in the way they both look at the past but the differences compliment each other nicely.

 

As someone who lives in an 1831 schoolhouse, I'd consider myself a little bit of both.

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mattzay
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: History and Preservation


DSaff wrote:

I think the major difference between the way Connie and Sam look at the past is this. Connie regards the past as something to study and glean information from. She is content to go to dusty places seeking out treasures, then to compile them into papers and books to share with others in her field (or those choosing to peek into her investigation). Her treasures are books and papers. Sam, on the other hand, seeks to preserve history for everyone to enjoy. His work keeps buildings erect, with their various pieces preserved so that visitors can admire the work of the past up close and personal. His treasures are buildings and tangible things. Both types of historical preservation are necessary and important. Without each, we would have an incomplete record of the past. Together they expand our horizons and ignite our imaginations. I can definitely see what drew each of them to their chosen tasks.

 


Wow! I don't think I could have said it better. I think that not only can we see what drew them to their chose tasks, we can see what drew them to each other. I especially am reminded of the part in the book when Sam comments on Granna's house. He talks about how the house was made and how strong it is. I actually learned a little bit about wood. It was neat to see the house viewed in a different way than Connie's.

 

When I was younger, I spent a summer helping my cousin and his wife restore an old victorian house outside of Baldwinsville, NY. It was fun watching the house change and transform back into what it once was. I guess you could say that I am a preservationist because of it, yet I also learned a lot about that time period and how people lived as well.

I think in order to preserve that house correctly, it was important to have a balance of both sides.

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valorietucker
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎02-03-2009
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Re: History and Preservation

I do see the difference between Connie and Sam-- Connie is methodical and intellectual whereas Sam is less constrained boy logic and instead seeks out the beauty of the past.  Instead of trying to make sense of it, Sam is more able to appreciate it at face value and just accept it.  Connie, however, has to make sense of it.


Though, I will say as a historian that I see my study and writing as an act of preservation itself.  By passing it on from one generation to the next, I am preserving it for the future.

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dj5775
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎03-22-2009
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Re: History and Preservation

I can see the hunger Connie has in her knowledge for history and the passion Sam has in preserving it. He inspires her to preserve the knowlege she is gaining in all her findings. I myself have a fascination with learning new things, history being one of them.
ct