Publications

The list of selected staff publications may be searched by keyword or author and can be sorted by year.

Historic Furnishings Report, Building 34/35, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, co-authored with Carol Petravage and Patricia Craig, National Park Service, 1995.

Illuminates the influence of martial law on civilian life during the Civil War in Harpers Ferry.

"More is Better: Mass Consumption, Gender, and Class Identity in Postwar America," American Quarterly. December 2002.

Explores the influence of working-class women on suburban life and the design of household goods in post-World War II America.

"Preserving Women: Refrigerator Design as Social Process in the 1930s." Technology and Culture. October 2002.

Examines the marketing strategies designers used to appeal to the middle-class consumer and the ways manufacturers, advertisers, designers, and government agencies constructed ideas about women, family, and society in the 1930s. Includes illustrations of trade literature in the NMAH library collections.

The Columbia Documentary History of the Asian American Experience. e.d. N.Y.: Columbia U. Press, 2002.
No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawai`i during WWII. Philadelphia: Temple U. Press, 2004.
"Maps on My Past: Race, Space, and Place in the Life Stories of Washington, D.C. Area Teenagers," Oral History Review 22/2 (Winter 1995) pp. 33–53.

Using mental mapping to frame teen memories of personal past and knowledge of those beyond their communities.

A Woman's Place: The Maine Point of View. (Augusta: Maine State Museum, 1976).

Catalog for exhibition and bibliographical guide on Maine women's history.

"Mr. Darby Goes to Washington," American Windsurfer no. 5 (1998).

Discusses the donation and significance of the Newman Darby archives to the Archives Center.

Charlotte Cramer Sachs in the Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present

The collaborative research project Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present sheds new light on the entrepreneurial and economic capacity of immigrants by investigating the German-American example in the United States. It traces the lives, careers and business ventures of eminent German-American business people of roughly the last two hundred and ninety years, integrating the history of German-American immigration into the larger narrative of U.S. economic and business history.

"William Frederick Friedman, A Pictorial Essay" Cryptologia 16, no. 3 (July 1992).

Illustrates and provides a brief overview of the life of William F. Friedman.

Fevered Lives: Tuberculosis in American Culture since 1870 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996).

Nominated for the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award.
By examining the technologies used to diagnose and treat tuberculosis, this book explains how the material culture of medicine influences the conceptualization of a disease as much as the medical textbook definitions.

“Disability Things,” in Susan Burch and Michael Rembis, eds., Disability Histories (University of Illinois Press, 2014).

A critical analysis of the intersection of material culture theory and disability.

“The Sum of Its Parts: An Introduction to Modern Histories of Prosthetics,” in Katherine Ott, David Serlin, Stephen Mihm, eds., Artificial Parts, Practical Lives; Modern Histories of Prosthetics (New York: New York University Press, 2002): 1-42.

An overview of the evolution of understanding of prosthetics.

"Carnage Remembered: Prosthetics in the United States Military Since the 1860s," in Bernard Finn and Barton Hacker, eds., Materializing the Military (London: Science Museum, 2005): 47-64.

An overview of the influence of the military on the development and use of prosthetics.

“Prosthetics,” in Keywords in Disability, David Serlin, Rachel Adams, Benjamin Reiss, eds. (New York: New York University Press, in press).

Describes interdisciplinary ways of analyzing and comprending prosthetics.

"Hard Wear and Soft Tissue: Craft and Commerce in Artificial Eyes," in Katherine Ott, David Serlin, Stephen Mihm, eds., Artificial Parts, Practical Lives; Modern Histories of Prosthetics (New York: New York University Press, 2002): 147-170.

Examines development of the making of artificial eyes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including discussion of techniques, materials, training of the makers, and the internal politics of eye-making.

“Using Science to Parse the Body: Some Artful Methods for Learning Medicine,” in Analyzing Art and Aesthetics, Anne Collins Goodyear and Margaret A. Weitekamp, editors (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2013): 2-16.

Analysis of the role of models in understanding the body, using three different medical objects.

“The Iron Lung in History and Cultural Memory,” in Mary Jo Arnoldi, ed., Engaging Smithsonian Objects—Views from the Arts, History, and Sciences (Smithsonian Institution Press, under contract).

Explains how understanding the history of the tank respirator, or iron lung, relates to its interpretation in a museum exhibit.

“Collective Bodies; What Museums do for Disability Studies,” in Re-Presenting Disability; Activism and Agency in the Museum, Richard Sandell, Jocelyn Dodd, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, eds. (New York, London: Routledge, 2010): 269-279.

A discussion of the politics and implications of disability content in exhibitions.

"Making Disability Public: An Interview with Katherine Ott" Interview by David Serlin, Radical History Review 94 (Winter 2006) pp. 197-211.

Discussion of issues that underpin the collecting and exhibiting of the history of disability and people with disabilies.

Scrapbooks In American Life, with Susan Tucker, Patricia Buckler, eds. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006).

A collection of essays examining the origins and different uses of scrapbooks through analysis of a variety of albums.  Winner of the Allen G. Noble Book Award for best edited volume on material culture.

“Contagion, Public Health, and the Visual Culture of Nineteenth Century Skin,” in David Serlin, ed. Imagining Illness: Public Health and Visual Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010): 85-107.

Analyzes the relationship of the graphic representations of the dermatological conditions of scabies and favus (ringworm) to the beginning of professional public health work.

"Between Person and Profession: the Scrapbooks of 19th-Century Medical Practitioners," in Katherine Ott, Susan Tucker, and Patricia Buckler, eds., Scrapbooks in American Life (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006): 29-41.

Examines the role of scrapbooks in the lives of physicians and nurses.

"An Introduction to the History of Scrapbooks," with Susan Tucker and Patricia Buckler, in Katherine Ott, Susan Tucker, and Patricia Buckler, eds., Scrapbooks in American Life  (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006): 1-25.

An overview of the antecedents to scrapbooks and analysis of different ways of using them as primary sources.

"Disability and the Practice of Public History: An Introduction," in The Public Historian, v. 27, no. 2 (Spring 2005), pp. 11-24.

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