Local History and Value

July 24, 2015
0 0 votes Article Rating The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts Neville BuchProfessional Historian at Professional Historians Association (Queensland) Inc. 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 […]

Local Hisotry Value

An Annotated Bibliography

The Brisbane Southside History Network (BSHN) has the exciting opportunities of being able to train students in professionally-based community history, and to help students see ideas of social justice and inclusion, the values of equity and fairness, being practiced from the profession of local history.
This document is a guide to a folder of background papers.


The idea of value – social justice, equity, fairness, non-discrimination through tolerance and multiculturalism – was implicit in the formation of the discipline in the middle of the twentieth century, in the United Kingdom. At Leicester University, William George Hoskins, was the first ever academic Head of a Local History Department, and Herbert Patrick Reginald Finberg was the first ever Professor of [English] Local History.
The Oxford Index states about the work of Herbert Finberg,

At Leicester [University] his department became recognized as the only centre for postgraduate studies in the subject…starting with his own paper, The Local Historian and His Theme (1952), [in Leicester University Occasional Papers] in which he suggested that local historians should be concerned with the origins, growth, and decline of communities.i

The ideas of origins, growth, and decline are charged with value from the perspective of ethical theory. Furthermore, the factors of past lifestyles and the surrounding environmental context are evident in local history work. Timothy Cooper in Making History: The Changing Face of the Profession in Britain writes,

There is a long established connection between English history and landscape history, for example. The social historian G. M. Trevelyan was a prominent supporter of the National Trust. Similarly, W. G. Hoskins’s Making of the English Landscape affected not just the development of local history, but the development of conservationist ideas in Britain, and remains a widely used text in undergraduate courses.ii

The following are works in local history which have reflected on the nature of the discipline and reveal, not only an evolution of historiographical ideas, but also the various ways value has been integrated into the labours of the local historian. The annotated bibliography is ordered chronologically to demonstrate the evolution of the discipline.

The Bibliographical List

Currently in the folder are 20 documents from the literature on local history, as well as on public and social histories which touches on the theme of local studies. They are British and American sources. There are Australian sources in the current literature on local history; however, specialists have yet to develop sufficient historiographical analysis in relation to questions of value and ideas. Politically, a conservative heritage agenda has been dominant in the Australian context.

1. Don McNeil. The Why of Local History | pdf
2. W.G. Hoskins. English Provincial Towns in the Early Sixteenth Century | pdf
3. W. G. East, et la. History in a Map | pdf
4. H. P. R. Finberg. Recent Progress in English Agrarian History | pdf
5. Russell W. Fridley. Local History and World Upheaval | pdf
6. Unnamed. The Uses of State and Local History | pdf
7. J.A. Raftis. British Historiography Decentralizes | pdf
8. Lee A. Dew. The Professional Historian and Local History | pdf
9. Pierre Goubert. Local History | pdf
10. Philip Huang. County Archives and the Study of Local Social History | pdf
11. Bruce Sinclair. Local History and National Culture | pdf
12. Hal K. Rothman. Environmental History and Local History | pdf
13. Patricia Mooney-Melvin. Urban History, Local History and Public History | pdf
14. Lucy Taksa. Considering Community in Relation to Labour History | pdf
15. Jan Palmowski. Liberalism and Local Government | pdf
16. Stephen Mosley. Integrating Social and Environmental History | pdf
17. Carol Kammen. On Doing Local History in New York | pdf
18. Carol Kammen. On Doing Local History — Postscript | pdf
19. Timothy Baumann, et al. Interpreting Uncomfortable History | pdf
20. Robert R. Weyeneth. A Public Historian’s Intellectual Odyssey | pdf

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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.
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