Publications

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

“Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The National Museum of American History’s Exhibition on Sweatshops, 1820–Present,” co-authored with Peter Liebhold, Labor's Heritage, Spring 1998.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A History of American Sweatshops, 1820–Present, co-authored with Peter Liebhold. UCLA Asian American Studies Center and Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, 1999.
Design for Victory: Posters on the American Home Front, 1941–1945, co-authored with William Bird Jr., Princeton Architectural Press, 1998.
“Bringing Sweatshops into the Museum,” co-authored with Peter Liebhold. In Sweatshop USA, edited by Daniel E. Bender and Richard A. Greenwald, Routledge, 2003.
“Good History is Not Enough,” Perspectives, Vol.38, No. 5, May 2000.
"Culture Wars Won and Lost: Ethnic Museums on the Mall," in Radical History Review. Two-part article. No. 68, Spring, 1997 and No. 70 Winter, 1998. (Part One: The Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian. Part Two: The African American Museum on the Mall Project.)

Comparison of the work in the 1980s and 1990s to found the National Museum of the American Indian, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and the earlier unsuccessful attempt to pass legislation to put an African American Museum on the Mall.

"Mythos, Memory, and History: African American Preservation Efforts, 1820-1990." Museums and Communities: The Politics of Public Culture. Ivan Karp, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Steven D. Lavine, eds. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992.

Detailed analysis of the preservation of objects, folklore, music, governmental records over the 19th and 20th centuries.

"Recovering Yesterday." Co-author with Paul Ruffins. Black Issues in Higher Education. Vol. 13, No.25 February 2, 1997.

Brief history of Black efforts to preserve African American history in collections.

"The Politics of Cultural Ownership." AIGA Journal of Graphic Design. Vol. 14, No. 1. January, 1996. (American Institute of Graphic Arts.)

Brief analysis of the struggles over control of ethnic images in 20th century U.S.A.

"Lifting As We Climb': Black Women and the Preservation of African American History and Culture." Gender and History. Vol. 6, No. 3. November, 1994.

Analysis of the special role that Black women have played in the preservation of African American history.

"A Faithful Witness': Afro-American Public History in Historical Perspective," with Jeffrey Stewart. Presenting the Past: Critical Perspectives on History and the Public. Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig, eds. Temple University Press, 1986.

Detailed analysis of the relationship between professional historians and "organic historians" of the African American experience.

"Four African American Women on the National Landscape" in Restoring Women's History through Historic Preservation. Gail Dubrow, ed. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

Analyzes the preservation history of four African American women: Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, Maggie Walker, and Madame C. J. Walker.

“Sites of Memory, Sites of Struggle: The ‘Materials’ of History” in Major Problems in African American History. Volume 1: From Slavery to Freedom, 1619–1865 . Thomas Holt and Elsa Barkley Brown eds. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999.

Brief analysis of issues involved in earlier attempts to put an African American museum on the mall.

"Reflecting on Ethnic Imagery in the Landscape of Commerce 1945–1975" in Getting and Spending: American and European Consumption in the Twentieth Century. Charles McGovern, Susan Strasser, and Matthias Judt, eds. Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Analysis of the images of ethnicity in American advertising,both television and print, between World War II and the Vietnam War.

"Revisiting the Old Plantation: Reparations, Reconciliation, and Museumizing American Slavery.” Museums Frictions ed. by Ivan Karp and Corrine Kratz. In press.

Comments on emerging museums of slavery and their efforts to put that history on exhibition.

“Livestock and the Disease Crisis of the Civil War,” Crossfire: The Magazine of the American Civil War Roundtable (UK), 64 (December 2000) 31–37.
“Biological Thought in Eighteenth-Century Agriculture,” Magnolia (Bulletin of the Southern Garden History Society) XVI:2 (Winter 2000-2001): 1-7.
"Farming, Disease, and Change in the Chesapeake Ecosystem," Chapter 14 in Discovering the Chesapeake: The History of an Ecosystem, edited by Philip D. Curtin, Grace S. Brush, and George W. Fisher. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
“Breaking Down Cancer,” The Scientist, 14:4 (February 21, 2000) 39.
A Kind of Fate: Agricultural Change in Virginia, 1861–1920. (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 2000).
“The Promise of Gene Medicine,” The World & I (a publication of the Washington Times) 15:5 (May 2000) 147–149.
"Measuring Infinity: Jose de Rivera's Smithsonian Sculpture on the National Mall" Curator:The Museum Journal, Vol. 51 No. 2, April 2008, pp 179-185.

Recounts the origins, fabrication, and varied meanings of Infinity, the sculpture created for the museum in 1967 by Jose de Rivera.

"Artifacts of Disaster: Creating the Smithsonian's Katrina Collection" Technology and Culture, April, 2006, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 357–368.

Surveys the process undertaken to collect museum objects from the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, what was collected, and the rationale behind their selection.

“Problems and Solutions at a Company Museum,” Curator, Vol. 21 No. 2 (June 1978), pp. 168–173.

Recounts the author's rehabilitation of the packaging collection at the Landor Museum of Packaging Antiquities in San
Francisco.

“Elephant Under Glass: The Piano Key Bleach House of Deep River, Connecticut,” in IA, Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology, Vol. 19 No. 2 (1992), pp. 37–59.

Uses the only surviving piano key bleach house to describe and illustrate the stages of manufacture from elephant tusks to finished piano keys, 1800–1950.

Pages