Cover image for Encyclopedia of local history
Encyclopedia of local history
Kammen, Carol, 1937-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Walnut Creek, CA : AltaMira Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvi, 539 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E180 .K25 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
E180 .K25 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference

On Order



How is local history thought about? How should it be approached? What is the context behind local events and institutions? Where does one start? Through brief, succinct notes and essay-length entries, the Encyclopedia of Local History presents ideas to consider, sources to use, historical fields and trends to explore. It also provides commentary on a number of subjects, including the everyday topics that most local historians encounter. Useful appendices provide information on ethnic groups, religious organizations, and immigration. A handy reference tool that no public historian's desk should be without! Topics include: African-American history, agricultural history, almanacs, archives, biographical dictionaries, business history, census, children's history, copyright, economic history, family, genealogy, government records, historic preservation, labor history, maps, obituaries, photography, regionalism, slang, state historical journals, tourism, toys, virtual shopping, zoos.

Author Notes

Carol Kammen writes editorials for History News and is the author of On Doing Local History: Reflections on What Local Historians Do, and Why, and Pursuit of Local History: Readings on Theory and Practice, and of eleven plays. Norma Prendergast received a Ph.D. in art history from Cornell University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

For both amateur sleuths and academicians who investigate the history of place, this useful companion amply achieves its stated goals. The only compendium that presents concepts and sources of use to local historians, and puts both in broader contexts, ELH provides both topics researchers might look for and those they will discover through serendipitous searching. Sponsored by the American Association of State and Local History and published in the AltaMira "AASHL History Book Series," this book benefits from extended signed essays, among whose lengthier subjects are ethnicity, family history, nostalgia, popular culture, and state humanities councils. Inclusion of source entries such as the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Newberry Library, newspapers, and Sanborn fire insurance maps symbolize this work's extensive treatment. Kammen (editorial writer for History News) and Prendergast (who shouldered most of the administrative work), both from Cornell, tapped such sch olars as John Bodnar, George Bobinski, and Page Putnam Miller through the H-Local discussion network for the longer essays and wrote many of the smaller entries themselves. Appendixes are especially noteworthy, particularly those listing state historical organizations and National Archives facilities. The entries for databases and Web sites for local history (which could have been combined) and on local history museums might have been appendixes in their own right. Like many recent encyclopedias, ELH provides a list of contributors and many cross-references, but no index. F. J. Augustyn Jr. Library of Congress