“Culture is ordinary: this is where we must start.” Culture theorist Raymond Williams wrote this simple observation and directive in 1958. It seems I’ve been following his direction for all of my professional life as a historian and curator. On this website, you’ll discover the sorts of projects and activities I’ve undertaken as I’ve studied other people’s stuff.
I’ve over thirty years’ experience in historical research, scholarly editing, and university teaching. In 2009, I decided to leave the formal classroom and make my way into museum curatorship. This transition took place during the Great Recession, and the way to gainful employment took four years. I absolutely loved serving as Michigan State University Museum‘s Curator of History from 2014 to 2018. (I am still completing some personal research projects based on that large and under-utilized collection.) In October 2019, I was hired as interim executive director of Enfield Shaker Museum in Enfield, NH. I was named to the permanent position of executive director the next year, and during the Covid-19 pandemic we were able to do some amazing things. Nevertheless, I left the Museum in July 2022. I am now Curator of Collections at Canterbury Shaker Village in Canterbury, NH. Let’s just say I won’t be able to retire, but then again, in the history biz one just keeps working.
I keep busy beyond my employment by helping others in learning and keeping and doing history. In 2008 I helped to establish a historical society in my Ohio hometown. I served as the Vienna Historical Society historian for ten years. Please check out the Society’s website to discover what a group of dedicated individuals can do to preserve the past and foster community in a small town. What research I have undertaken and edited may be found on Viennapedia. Established in March 2012, this encyclopedia now boasts over 450 entries.
And I hope you’ll return to this website to read object stories, curatorial and historical musings, and other of my writings. Thanks for stopping by!