The Histories We Write
As a student completing degrees in religious studies and library science, it is probably not surprising that collective memory and memorialization are among my research interests. At bottom, both disciplines are fundamentally concerned with history. Scholars of religion study not only the traditions and rituals that are passed down within different groups but also how history shapes the way that people relate to themselves, each other, and the world writ large. Archivists parse written records to decide what is valuable enough to preserve, and librarians play an important role in providing the public with access to transcribed history. As a subject of study, collective memory bridges the two fields by examining how we—as a society—sacralize people and events that we have agreed are important.
The Drish House’s Newest Look
In 2013, as I explored Tuscaloosa during my first year as a University of Alabama student, I remember happening upon a large, pink house positioned in a forgotten-looking circle near the city’s downtown area. To a girl who used to dream of growing up and living in a pretty, pink house, this place had a sense of magic about it. But I could tell the Drish House, as I later discovered it was called, was riddled with history as well–such a contrast to see in a town that meant new beginnings for an out-of-state Georgia girl.
One of the things I find so wonderful about Alabama is just how many historic, Victorian homes can be found here, and how those same homes are so well-preserved by numerous organizations, including the Alabama Historical Commission. The Jemison –Van de Graaff Mansion for instance, built in 1859, is located right here in Tuscaloosa. People go on tours there to relish in its archaic beauty, as well as plan community events. The Victoria, built in 1887 and located in Anniston, is another example. It was transformed and restored in 1996, becoming a stunning bed and breakfast. Historic homes like these can be found all over Alabama. They are sometimes open to the public and shared with the community, but many are also endangered—like the Kildare-McCormick House.
Alabama Heritage BLOG
At Alabama Heritage, we owe many of our successes and smooth operations to our fabulous student interns. We hope that with this blog--written mostly by our interns as well as history students from UAB and a few from our own editors--our readers will have an opportunity to get to know the students who bring so much to the table with their enthusiasm, hard work, and expertise!
If you're interested in our internship program, check out the details here.