Stanley, Peter: Launch words

What happens next? Honest History, 8 November 2013

After a lot of preparatory work, we in Honest History have launched our website.

Our ‘starting line-up’ is something over 500 unique references in the Resources section, which translates into about 1000 bibliographical items. Most of the items can be found under more than one heading – you’ll see what I mean once you start exploring the site – because they are relevant to more than one historical strand. Most of the items include links to further information, as well.

What happens now?

Well, there are three things we need to mention to users of the site, whether they are historians, teachers, student, journalists or anyone. First, while we are pretty happy with the general structure of the site and we hope we have avoided obvious errors, we need the help of users to build up the content, particularly in the Resources section of the site.

We want the site to keep growing and to do so by contributions from users – ‘crowd sourcing’, in fact.

So, please let us know of books, articles, multimedia and relevant links that we should mention on the site but which don’t appear there at the moment. If you find errors or if you disagree with something we have said, tell us that, as well. The Forum section of the site is for your feedback on all manner of things. [Forum since replaced by Comments facility – Ed.]

And if you want to write an article that fits our brief, please contact us to make a pitch and we will see if we can accommodate your piece on the site. We welcome ideas from interested lay people and academics-in-training, as well as from established practitioners.

Secondly, and more importantly, let it be said that Honest History does not see itself as just a website. Busy people do not enter the public arena unless they see a need to do so. We think the next few years – the years of the centenary of the Great War – will be important not just for the practice and presentation of Australian history but for Australia itself.

We hope to make our collective voice heard during those years on the set of issues that we have already canvassed in our newsletters and which we will pursue on the website and in public. We have summarised our message as ‘Not only Anzac but also many other strands of Australian history’. That message is relevant both to the centenary and to discussion of what history is taught in our educational institutions and how it is taught.

Finally, please remember that Honest History is a loose coalition – a broad church, if you like – and the people on our mailing list, let alone our small committee or our key supporters, do not agree on everything. But I suspect we all agree on one thing: history is too important to be left to ideologues – or to politicians.

Peter Stanley

President

Honest History

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