One of the greatest strengths of the AAS fellowship program is that researchers from around the globe, working in diverse disciplines (history, English, art, creative writing, archaeology, etc.), all live together just up the street from Antiquarian Hall. During their lunch hour and after being forced out of the reading room at 5 pm, they gather together in our new fellow’s residence (and sometimes down the street at Nick’s bar over beers and burgers). They discuss their research, insights, and the really exciting things they stumbled upon that day. Sometimes the staff is even lucky enough to join in. Past is Present will give everyone the opportunity to participate in the discussion.
The paragraph above comes almost verbatim from the “About” page on this blog. It was written to describe the vision for Past is Present when the blog debuted almost two years ago. A biennial (two year anniversary) may not seem like much at an institution that next year will be celebrating its bicentennial (two hundred year anniversary). In the blog-o-sphere rather than the archival world, though, we feel it is something to be celebrated.
Take a browse through our archives to see the hundreds of posts from AAS staff, fellows, readers, council members, volunteers, interns, and friends. If you’ve done research at AAS or participated in a program here lately, please take this opportunity to consider writing about it for Past is Present. Your name could be the next to appear in our authors section!
As part of our biennial assessment at Past is Present, we are making plans to beef up the content and frequency of publication. We are also considering a re-design and re-launch of the blog. This is your chance to let us know what you would like to see more of (or less of) on the blog.
One new feature we know we want to debut is a weekly post introducing one of the many people doing research at AAS — you know, the ones we mentioned in the introductory paragraph that come from all different disciplines, states, and even countries. Tune in tomorrow for our first “Featured Fellow” — and an international one at that. Bonus points (or extra research assistance?) will be awarded to anyone who can guess what country our featured fellow is from, or to anyone who provides feedback on what you would like to see at Past is Present in the future.