History Speaks. Listen. Learn.

I have long felt history has more to do with the present and future, than the past. What we choose to remember and memorialize today is what is remembered tomorrow. What gets passively forgotten through neglect? What gets actively erased? What gets molded into a different story altogether?

The past allows for there to be a second point relative to the present. You get a kind of trajectory that can imply the future, suggesting what might be needed to either stay the course or change course of preferred.

I have put a particular focus on research and writing related to what I feel are lesser told histories, such as the stories and voices of veterans’ stories of service, women, immigrants, and Persons of Color, especially African American studies. I have also put a focus on both traditional and new ways of speaking about local history by supporting documentary theater, advocating for physical monuments and memorials, creating teaching aids, being active as a Wikipedia contributor, and supporting all forms of digital communication which can offer broad access at less cost.

Our perception of the past, what we call history, is not  fixed, nor should it be. History needs to be constantly rewritten, as the historian Lucy Maynard Salmon described so eloquently a century ago. My goal is to identify, preserve, and creatively share the stories of the past as a guide to the present and future. This an open workspace, please feel free to comment. ~ Bill Jeffway

Click image below to see work related to Rhinebeck’s Post Office