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...

William Camden's Britannia 0

Historic preservation and memory

While History to the Public has dedicated May to examining the connections between history and memory, in the United States, May is designated as Preservation Month. Preservation Month was established in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the month is used as an opportunity by communities all...

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Saudade: Exploring Memory through Film

We are opening Memory Month with a short film by two graduate students from the University of Porto entitled Saudade. This film tells the story of Ana Pereira, whose parents migrated to Australia from Portugal. Ana has always been fascinated by photographs and curious about her heritage. After discovering a...