Curatorial Update

Dear Friends,

Well, hey!  It has been awhile.  Time flies when you’re having fun… or researching a neighborhood history exhibition.  Either way, things are moving along with the History Truck’s first exhibit cycle, and we are excited to share some very exciting updates.

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Our most important news is that every oral history recording and the truck project itself is going to be archived in the Special Collections Research Center of the Temple University Libraries.  As those who are familiar with this project know, much of the truck’s effort– beyond community building– is about capturing fleeting histories in a rapidly changing Philadelphia.  Now, we have a solid, ongoing partnership which solidifies that every moment we spend with people doing our work is going to be remembered.  We view this as a huge moment for our project and in the longstanding public history conversation regarding “what we choose to remember.”

Secondly, we’re a growing family!  Temple University has generously funded an undergraduate research associate for the project this spring.  I could not be more thrilled to have another historian working with me.  So, welcome, Grace!  Check our her bio on the trucker page.

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The break between semesters has been a huge rush of research.  I have been looking to put trends in oral history conversations into context with archival documentation, and I have found some things that are perplexing.  Many of the issues shared with me today about East Kensington were also of concern in the early twentieth century.  What does that mean?  I am not sure, and I don’t think I am going to make that deduction with this exhibit, but I plan to stage an exhibit with Jordan (our EK exhibition designer), Grace, and all of the EK community which will help us all frame questions about future steps in this neighborhood with an air of creative reflection.  What issues am I referring to here?  Well, you’ll have to wait until the exhibit is fully announced for that information.

BUT!  I can tell you the opening will be Friday, April 4, 2014 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Little Berlin at 2430 Coral St. in the Viking Mill building. Gallery hours are 12-5 p.m. Saturday and by special appointment.

We’ve got years worth of programming in the works, too, folks, and we’ll be launching a crowdfunding campaign soon to fundraise for a permanent vehicle!  In the meantime, we need an iPad.  Got one you don’t use anymore?  Donate it to the truck project!  You will see it in action during exhibition.  E-mail me anytime, whether you have a donation or a question or anything else – phillyhistorytruck@gmail.com.

Be well,
Erin

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