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Faithland: What’s the Most Highly Religious Part of America?

February 13, 2018

Faithland map of religious adherence in America

Read historian Chris Gehrz’s discussion of the upper Midwest/Great Plains aspects of the Faithland map by Alex Egoshin here.




Four Million Commutes Reveal New U.S. ‘Megaregions’

November 22, 2017
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An ever increasing share of the world’s population is living in what are known as megaregions—clusters of interconnected cities. The concept of the megaregion is decades old and fairly easy to grasp, but geographically defining them has turned out to be rather tricky.

Now, researchers have attempted to map the megaregions of the contiguous United States by studying the commutes of American workers.

So begins Betsy Mason’s fascinating post. At National Geographic, you can read the rest of the story here.

There’s an Archivist for That! Interview with Anne L. Foster, Yellowstone National Park Archivist

November 6, 2017


This is the first post in our new “There’s an Archivist for That!” series, which will feature examples of archivists working in places you might not expect.  To launch this new series, COPA member Rachel Seale, Outreach Archivist at Iowa State University, brings you an interview with Anne L. Foster, Archivist at Yellowstone National Park.

Anne Foster.resized Photograph of Anne L. Foster. (Courtesy of Anne L. Foster).

Anne L. Foster has served as Yellowstone National Park’s Archivist since 2010. Prior to that, she was the University Archivist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Traveling Archivist for the Montana Historical Society, NHPRC Fellow in Archival Administration at Fort Lewis College in Colorado, and Assistant Archivist at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Arizona. She is a Certified Archivist (CA), Digital Archives Specialist (DAS), and holds an Masters in Library Science (MLS) from the University of Maryland.

RS: How did you get your gig?

AF: As…

View original post 1,165 more words

Our Town: Orange City, Iowa

November 6, 2017

Orange City, the county seat of Sioux County, Iowa, is a square mile and a half of town, more or less, population six thousand, surrounded by fields in every direction. Sioux County is in the northwest corner of the state, and Orange City is isolated from the world outside—an hour over slow roads to the interstate, more than two hours to the airport in Omaha, nearly four to Des Moines. Hawarden, another town, twenty miles away, is on the Big Sioux River, and was founded as a stop on the Northwestern Railroad in the eighteen-seventies; it had a constant stream of strangers coming through, with hotels to service them and drinking and gambling going on. But Orange City never had a river or a railroad, or, until recently, even a four-lane highway, and so its pure, hermetic culture has been preserved.

So begins a well-written, well-researched article on Orange City by New Yorker writer Larissa MacFarquhar. You can read the entire article here:

The Religious Roots of America’s Love for Camping

October 17, 2017

Summer 1868 passed as an unremarkable season at Saranac Lake in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. The weather was fine, the scenery delightful, and the usual array of 200 to 300 recreational hunters and anglers passed through the small settlement on their way into the wild lands beyond. The summers of 1869 and 1870, however, were an altogether different story. The weather was more or less the same, and the scenery continued to entrance, but instead of a handful of sportsmen came a multitude of men and women from points east and south to enjoy America’s newest recreation—camping. Almost to a person, they had been inspired by what today, at the beginning of the 21st century, we recognize as the watershed book in the history of American camping: the first comprehensive “how-to-camp” guidebook, Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks, which had been written in April 1869 by a young minister named William H.H. Murray. Promoting a powerful combination …

Read the rest of geographer and historian Terence Young’s fascinating piece here: The Religious Roots of America’s Love for Camping | Essay | Zócalo Public Square

California, fires, and history

October 16, 2017

Historian Steve Pyne offers some helpful historical perspective on California and wildfires. Read his astute essay on the subject here at History News Network:

Siouxland and the Sioux

October 9, 2017

“So what’s the story of the Sioux?” she asks me. The question comes whistling out of the blue, or so it seems, and catches me off guard. “What do you mean?” I say. “I mean, I see the name all over the place—Sioux Falls, Sioux Center, Sioux City, Sioux County…so where are they? I don’t see many …

Read more of Brian Keepers’ post, and my comments on it, here at The Twelve: The Question She Asked Me – THE TWELVE

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