In House Historians and Contributors – Michelle Valletta

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I have been fascinated with all things history since childhood. In the  1970s, I remember asking my father countless questions about the images I saw on the nightly news, fervently devoured books about the ancient Romans and Egyptians, and pretended to be Pocahontas while exploring my backyard. Some of my most cherished childhood memories are of the family vacations that always centered on exploring historical places as well. While life led my early adult years towards a career in business, I tried to nurture my historical enthusiasm in leisure activities. I visited historical sites while vacationing, frequented museums, and became a big fan of movies about the past.

Recently, I have transitioned my passion for history from a hobby to a career.  I have a B.A. and M.A in History from Rhode Island College and I will soon possess a Public History Certificate. I have interned at the John Hay Library, Brown University, currently work as a college history instructor, and procure research for several history projects.

I created this website in efforts to engage, educate, and inform the public and academics about local history. I am amazed at the rich local history that remains hidden or unappreciated in our contemporary society. At the same time, I am disappointed that so much of our local history still focuses on the ‘great white men.’  While this project is a work in progress and will surely evolve in unexpected ways, its mission is to explore opportunities that bring together academic scholarship and local histories about everyday people. On one hand, this website aims to give people a forum to share and discuss their experiences with the past. On the other hand, my colleagues and I hope to examine these experiences in a broader historical context that may flesh out new perspectives on the significant of local people, places and events.

I hope you enjoy the site and decide to join our quest to enrich our community with the importance of everyday history.  Be sure to visit the other contributors’ pages as well.



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