History News, Vol. 48, No. 6 (November/December 1993), pp. 8-9.

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By the early 1990s the synergy between local history and environmental history had become well-established in places like the United States. As is seen in the East reading, at that time, the concept of local environmental history had existed for more than half-century in the United Kingdom. In Queensland history among academic historians and a few professional historians there was growing interest in the specialist field. However, the timing in the 1990s meant it was an area being eclipsed by the arrival of the heritage industry. As Rothman pointed out, “At first glance, environmental history appears to be at odds with the mission of local cultural resources institutions such as historical societies and museums”. Rothman makes the connection between the global aspirations in the Annales School, mentioned in the above comments about the Goubert reading, and the rise of environmental history. As we have seen in previous readings, the global perspective in environmental studies does not negate forming solid local history. In fact, the Rothman reading shows what can be achieved by the local historian who has taken the time to develop collaboration in multidisciplinary fields, such as cultural ecology, historical geography, anthropology, and indeed, environmental science.

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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.