Media Resource

Ask an NEH Expert: All About Local History

Museums and archives that focus on telling local stories can offer important insight for researchers. In this video, Heather Bender, Native Education Outreach Specialist at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Dr. Alvin Logan, Jr., Director of Education and Affiliate Curator for African Culture and Education at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, and Dr. Brian P. Jones, Director of Center for Educators and Schools at the New York Public Library discuss how local stories and perspectives inform their collections.  

Questions for Analysis and Comprehension 

These questions can be used before viewing the video to brainstorm ideas and preview the concepts discussed in the interviews, or after watching as a way to reflect. 

  1. How can institutions amplify local voices and support local history? 

  1. How do local stories provide insight into larger national or global trends? 

  1. Why are community relationships important for museums and archives? How can institutions provide space for communities to tell their own stories? 

  1. When researching local histories, what might it mean to “read the word” and also “read the world?” 

This video is one in a series on historical research and writing developed through a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities and National History Day