Friday, December 16, 2011

Texas State students and staff launch Center for Texas Public History under TAMU Press author direction

The National Park Service needed help researching the history of a former Secret Service command outpost at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park at Stonewall and turned to public history professors Lynn Denton and Dan Utley in the Department of History at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Under Denton and Utley’s guidance, graduate researched a wide variety of records to complete a detailed analysis of the nationally significant historic site and recommended ways to interpret the building’s historic significance to park visitors.

“The students collected many stories from Secret Service agents and others who served at the LBJ Ranch during Johnson’s presidency,” said Utley. “The stories show LBJ’s personal side and his family’s interaction with the Secret Service. Now, the Park Service will be able to relate these stories to the public through that little Secret Service building near the ‘Texas White House.’”

Because Texas State’s History Department receives so many
requests for help with historical research and interpretation, the Center for Texas Public History was created to respond to the requests.

Details on the Center for Texas Public History:
-to be staffed by faculty and students in the department’s graduate program in public history
- Will focus on museum work, oral history, and cultural resource management available to government agencies, museums, historical commissions, community organizations and others that need help in researching and interpreting historical information for the public

Dan Utley is also the co-author of History Ahead: Stories beyond the Texas Roadside Markers (TAMU 2010).
History Ahead offers a rich array of local stories that interweave with the broader regional and national context, touching on themes of culture, art, music, technology, the environment, oil, aviation, and folklore, among other topics. Utley and author Cynthia Beeman have located these forgotten gems, polished them up to a high shine, and offered them along with convenient maps and directions to the marker sites.

For more information on The Center for Texas Public History, read “Texas State establishes new Center for Texas Public History” by Ann Friou.

Visit the Press website to read more about History Ahead, Dan Utley and order your copy!