A rebellious tea pot from the collections of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute 0

Sugar, Tea and Liberty: Material Consumption and the American Revolution

On 22nd February 1770, an eleven-year-old boy was shot dead by a British customs official on the streets of Boston during an altercation about imports. Young Christopher Sneider’s death was glorified as nothing short of martyrdom by the Boston Gazette, and his funeral was one of the biggest processions colonial...

Extract from Ximenez Inventory Source: http://ximenez.unibe.ch/ 0

Early Modern Inventories and Identities

Usually undertaken following the death of a family member, inventories record the immovable goods within a household, as part of the transmission of property. Historians have used early modern inventories to pursue several angles of research in relation to domestic interiors, focusing on the changing nature of decorations, the use...

Visitors at the gate of the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum in Oswiecim, Poland 0

Dark Tourism: Concept and Limitations

Recently, there has been a surge in interest in the phenomenon of dark tourism. A large upcoming conference in Glasgow along with many recent publications on the subject provide ample evidence of this phenomenon. Those studying the subject would argue this is a response to the growth and development in...

A typical shopping street in the GDR, 1969. 0

‘Hamster shopping’ in East Germany: The Open Border and its Problems

The introduction of visa-free travel on the border between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Poland on 1 January 1972 was met with scenes of optimism and celebration in communities throughout the border region. As mentioned in a previous post, the border between these two communist states had been established...

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The Sources Don’t Exist: What to do When your Primary Research Doesn’t Go to Plan

When I started my PhD in January 2015 I had no illusions that it was going to be straightforward – I knew it would be challenging, stressful and downright frustrating, yet also intellectually stimulating, motivating and, above all, worth it. Many PhD students encounter problems during their research; it’s part...

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A New Way To Display Material Culture

While our way of arranging objects has changed over time, people’s fascination with things has always led to displays of material culture. During the Renaissance, wealthy men in Europe curated “cabinets of curiosities,” (also called Wunderkammer, or Cabinets of Wonder) usually full of findings from the natural world such as...