Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Video Podcasting from the Minnesota Historical Society

Video Podcasts from the Minnesota Historical Society. The MHS has some great brief video podcasts on its website. I found this one while researching googling a public history controversy--the refusal of Minnesota to return to Virginia a Confederate flag captured at Gettysburg by a Minnesota regiment. (As then-Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura famously said of the request, "Why should we? We won.")

I think these three-to-six-minute vidcasts are a nice model of how a public institution can use the video podcasting format for different purposes. There are vidcasts about historical issues such as the flag controversy or the 1963 Andersen – Rolvaag Election Recount (and which of us can forget that?). Mini-documentaries on Minnesota historical topics such as the1892 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis or The Younger Brothers: After the Attempted Robbery show off highlights of the MHS collections and are great classroom resources. I especially like how they use vidcasts to present and to preserve museum exhibits: see RetroRama - A Celebration of ’50s Suburbia and Pulp Fiction. Even roadtrips by MHS staff become fodder for vidcasts as in this video on 1950s Tourist Cabins.

Virtually any small humanities institution with a video camera and a YouTube account could create online documentaries along the Minnesota model. I think I feel an assignment for my Public History class coming into being!

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