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Liberal Arts Panel

Harvard University

We "see" history through the eyes of those who study and write about it. In this free, online OpenCourseWare offering by the Harvard University Liberal Arts panel, Professor Donald Ostrowski introduces a group of esteemed historians gathered to examine the writing of history today. Following the introduction, in the fifth of eight mini-lectures, Professor John Stilgoe discusses history as written for the mainstream. Through a series of anecdotes emphasizing the importance of the "visual", he illustrates what can be learned by paying attention to such seemingly unimportant details as serial numbers on row boats, the color of antique lantern glass and the particulars of old railroad maps, among others.

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