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'for their own purposes of identity': Tom Stannage and Australian Local History

Carment, David (2013). 'for their own purposes of identity': Tom Stannage and Australian Local History. Public History Review,20:68-79.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84279116xPUB83
Title 'for their own purposes of identity': Tom Stannage and Australian Local History
Author Carment, David
Journal Name Public History Review
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 20
ISSN 1833-4989   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 68
End Page 79
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Professional Historians Association NSW Inc.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Tom Stannage made a significant contribution to Australian local history and regularly returned to it throughout his career, frequently speaking and writing about the local past and collaborating with the community organisations that promoted it. In the context of Stannage's perspectives, the work of some other historians and the author's experiences, this article briefly reflects on the state of local history in Australia and the role of local historical societies. The focus is on New South Wales and the Northern Territory, the parts of Australia that the author knows best, but some attention is also given to the rest of the country. The article considers why the work of local historians and historical societies matters in understanding the bigger picture of Australian history. The various attempts to tell the stories of individual communities quite frequently by and for local residents themselves encourage speculation on their contributions to the broader process of historical inquiry. Local history is, as Stannnage strongly believed it ought to be, usually a democratic phenomenon and one that allows a diverse range of approaches. The historical societies that survive and develop do so because they are solidly based in their communities. Perhaps even more crucial, the data of the past that local historical societies have often unearthed and recorded help allow Australians to shape what Stannage so aptly described as a 'history for their own purposes of identity'.
Keywords Australia
Local history
Tom Stannage
Historical societies
Open access True
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to published version
Link to CC Attribution 4.0 License

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