I don't know how I missed this.
Rebecca Onion, a post-doc at the Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science, runs a fabulous blog at Slate.com called The Vault. The focus is on primary documents and objects presented in a big and bold style that makes for easy reading and digesting. Here is a taste of her introductory post:
Every weekday, we’ll publish one archival document or object of
visual and historical interest. Here you’ll find carefully selected
photographs, pamphlets, maps, buttons, toys, letters, ledgers, and the
occasional lock of hair, along with a bit of explanation to give you
some context for what you’re seeing. Just this week we’ll be looking at
Benedict Arnold’s loyalty oath, a microscope set for girls of the 1950s,
and a memo from a Nixon aide pleading with the president to call the
Space Shuttle the Space Clipper instead.
British novelist L.P. Hartley once wrote “The
past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” The Vault
is on a permanent world tour; consider these objects your souvenirs.
It looks like Rebecca and her friends have been posting faithfully since November 2012 so it should be easy to get up to speed. Here are some of my favorite posts thus far:
East German Mother Passes Her Baby to Freedom Across the Berlin Wall
When Citizen Vigilantes Busted Food Hoarders
This Pay Chart Shows Exactly How Louisiana Used To Discriminate Against Black Teachers
Coping With A Raging Case Of Beatlemania
A Mysterious Failed Prophecy From the Smithsonian's Archives
First Lady Grace Coolidge Loved Her Raccoon, Rebecca
Kurt Vonnegut's 1967 Advice to a New Teacher at the Iowa Writer's Workshop