HISTORY RELEVANCE promotes a shared language and other tools and strategies to mobilize history organizations in the United States around the relevance and value of history. We support history organizations that encourage the public to use historical thinking skills to actively engage with and address contemporary issues and to value history for its relevance to modern life.

WE BELIEVE that history can have more impact when it connects the people, events, places, stories, and ideas of the past with the the people, events, places, stories, and ideas that are important and meaningful to communities, people, and audiences today.

WE ARE propelled by a group of dedicated volunteer history professionals who oversee several tasks each year. We welcome the participation of anyone who shares our mission to raise the relevance of history in the national dialogue. Your participation starts with getting your organization or history department to endorse the Value of History statement and to begin to incorporate its language into communication with your various audiences.  We hope you will be intentional about promoting history’s relevance in your spheres of influence – write blog posts, tweet examples of relevance, write op-eds, post on LinkedIn and other platforms, etc. Encourage other history organizations to endorse and use the Value of History statement. Much of the work of History Relevance depends on people with initiative and creative ideas and we welcome your ideas, questions, and encouragement. Also, we are always looking for potential organizational partners.

Current Projects

  • The History Relevance Initiative is working on a new guiding framework to help history organizations and departments ensure their public work is more relevant. As we did with the Value of History statement, we are going to the field for feedback. Please review the Six Qualities of a Relevant History Experience list and offer your thoughts through our six question survey here. The final product will also be developed as a rubric.  We value your input. Thank you.

  • Working with staff at the National Governor’s Association to bring history’s value to their conversation. If you’d like more information about how to initiate this conversation in your state, please contact us.

  • Seeking funding partners for several research initiatives dedicated to collecting data on history’s relevance to the public.

  • Identifying venues to engage the history field in increasing its effort to articulate and demonstrate history’s relevance to society. We encourage you to propose sessions at conferences and look for ways to lead conversations about the value of history. Ideas can include national conferences, workshops, speaking engagements, teacher workshops about historical thinking, etc. If you would like more information about bringing a workshop about relevance to your area, please contact History Relevance.

  • Developing a series of 30-minute “coffee break” webinars, with the American Association for State and Local History, to highlight different projects that address relevance.


RESOURCES

 

Value of History Statement

We believe that history - both knowledge and practice is vital to individuals, communities, and the nation. Click below to read the statement and learn how your organization can endorse it.

Photo: unsplash

Photo: unsplash


Photo: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Photo: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Toolkit

History institutions around the country have begun using history relevance and the "Value of History" statement to change their work. See examples of how.