Willis, Ian: Local history: a view from the bottom

Ian Willis

Local history: a view from the bottom‘, History Workshop, 5 December 2016

Camden, NSW, historian writes about the practice of local history.

Scholars occasionally need to take a look downwards from the heights of the academy to see what is growing at the bottom of the history tree. Carolyn Holbrook challenges academic historians to engage with the wider public. Local history knowledge deserves wider exposure within the academy. Local history’s apparent lack of prestige is no excuse for downgrading or ignoring journals that attempt to publish quality work. This does no justice either to the academy or keen amateurs. While some universities invite keen amateurs into their world there needs to be greater recognition and engagement from both sides. The scholar and the keen amateur should come to some form of mutual recognition. It might even be taken into account in the journal ranking process.

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