History | College of Humanities
Gender Studies | School for Cultural & Social Transformation
WORLD WAR II HOME FRONT THEME STUDY FOR THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Matthew Basso, Associate Professor
Prompted by recent federal legislation, the National Park Service (NPS), in collaboration with the National Council for Public History, has launched a major effort to revitalize its presentation of the World War II home front story. The NPS selected me as Principal Investigator for this four year project. There are three major components of this project. 1. )Update the NPS World War II home front theme study written in 2000. 2.) Produce home front histories for all 50 states and 5 territories. 3.) Conduct a reconnaissance of properties on the current NHL property list and produce one or more National Historic Landmark nominations for World War II home front sites from this list or from newly recognized sites.
This research will be of vital importance to the NPS as they continue their effort to provide the over 275 million annual visitors to NPS sites with a history of the U.S. that reflects the diversity of individual experience and the complexity of our national saga. To put it bluntly, this is a truly remarkable opportunity for students to have their research impact what millions of people learn about U.S. history.
SPUR students will work with Dr. Basso and a team of graduate students on the state and territory home front histories. We will teach any SPUR student selected for our project how to conduct primary and secondary source research in digital archives following best practices in the humanities. SPUR students will read and analyze federal and state documents and historical sources that speak to the culture and society of the WWII era. The selected student will also learn about public history and working for the National Park Service.