Anne’s Parkway Writings

National Parks Need Funding Help

National Parks Need Funding Help

Originally published in the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer Sunday, October 20, 2013   Point of View National parks need funding help By Anne Mitchell Whisnant As a historian of the national parks, I followed with interest stories of how the government shutdown – thankfully concluded now – played out in the parks. From World War II vets “storming” their D.C. memorial, to the private operator of Blue Ridge Parkway’s Pisgah Inn resisting closure in leaf season, to visitors complaining…

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Reflections on Building the Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

Reflections on Building the Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

In 2012, I participated in a working group at the National Council of Public History meeting called “Visualizing the Past: Graphs, Maps, and Trees:  Imagining the Future of Public Interfaces to Cultural Heritage Collections.” Each of the working group members wrote a blog post reflecting on our own experiences developing digital humanities projects. My post, “Reflections on Building the Digital Blue Ridge Parkway,” focused on my work with colleagues at the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries to create Driving Through Time. As…

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I Found It in the Archives!

I Found It in the Archives!

Submission for “I Found It in the Archives” contest, UNC Libraries Anne Mitchell Whisnant 2/10/2011 Almost everything good that has happened to me in the past twenty years came from one afternoon in an archive.  A purple spiral notebook that I treasure holds handwritten notes on a story that began on August 31, 1991 in UNC-Chapel Hill’s North Carolina Collection, and led to fulfilling work and the best family life I could ever have hoped for. I was not especially…

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Roads Taken and Not Taken: Images and the Story of the Blue Ridge Parkway “Missing Link”

Roads Taken and Not Taken: Images and the Story of the Blue Ridge Parkway “Missing Link”

In 2010, as part of the UNC Library’s larger project to digitize and put online many images from the Hugh Morton Collection, I wrote an essay entitled “Roads Taken and Not Taken: Images and the Story of the Blue Ridge Parkway ‘Missing Link’” for the Library’s “View to Hugh” blog. I’m linking it here so people can easily find it. In case the original site where it was posted ever goes away or fails to load, you may find a…

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First-ever Blue Ridge Parkway children’s book now available!

First-ever Blue Ridge Parkway children’s book now available!

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, December 1, 2009) My husband David and I are pleased to announce that we have just written and published the first-ever children’s book about the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is something we’ve had in mind for years, ever since we realized that there was virtually nothing out there about the Parkway that speaks to younger audiences who will have to become its future stewards. We’ve been actively working more than…

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Conundrums of Commemoration: Blue Ridge Parkway’s Seventy-fifth Anniversary

Conundrums of Commemoration: Blue Ridge Parkway’s Seventy-fifth Anniversary

In 2009, when I was involved (as a board member for Blue Ridge Parkway 75) in planning the celebration of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th anniversary celebration, I wrote a reflection on “Conundrums of Commemoration:  Blue Ridge Parkway’s Seventy-fifth Anniversary” for an issue of Sitelines: A Publication of the Foundation for Landscape Studies (vol. V, no. 1, Fall 2009). My article begins on page 11. A locally-hosted PDF of this publication is also here.

Historians studying state of history in the National Parks

Historians studying state of history in the National Parks

(Originally posted on Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, July 16, 2009) This post isn’t specific to the Blue Ridge Parkway, but I thought readers might be interested in a project that I’m involved in that is taking a comprehensive look at the state of history in the National Parks. Here’s our official blurb about what we’re up to: (By the way, the photo at left is of Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial, courtesy National Park Service.) The largest learned…

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Parkway history digital project funded by State Library of NC!

Parkway history digital project funded by State Library of NC!

(Originally posted on Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, June 24, 2009) I’m delighted to announce that a new digital publishing project I’ve been working on with colleagues at the Carolina Digital Library and Archives (part of the UNC-Chapel Hill Library system) has been funded (to the tune of $150,000 total over two years) by the State Library of North Carolina under a federal grant program established under the Library Services and Technology Act. The project will be called “Driving through Time:…

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Parkway 75th symposium: Attention Parkway researchers!

Parkway 75th symposium: Attention Parkway researchers!

(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, June 12, 2009) The nonprofit organization planning the celebration of the Parkway’s 75th Anniversary in 2010 has released the call for proposals for Part I of our two-part 75th Anniversary Symposium, “Imagining the Blue Ridge Parkway for the 21st Century.” Part I of the symposium, which will be held April 22-24, 2010 on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, is designed to bring together researchers and professionals…

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Blue Ridge America? Just say no!

Blue Ridge America? Just say no!

(Originally posted on Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, May 8, 2009) I have just had time to review the promotional video for the proposed “Blue Ridge America” project that Florida-based developer Larry Vander Maten is planning for a site just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, at what has for the last decade or so been known as Virginia’s “Explore Park.” This site, unlike other locations developers might be eyeing, is favored with a special access road that connects it directly…

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