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1) My understanding is that Arcadia lays a multitude of images out on a mega-scanner which accounts for the overall muddiness. However, I have before me Mexican Chicago and its photos are rather snappy so my source may have misspoken. Pardon my Chicago-centricity, but there are excellent Arcadia publications based here: for example, Hull House (Glowacki/Hendry), the Southeast Chicago volumes (Sellers, Pacyga), and Chicago Parks (Bacharach) are written by expert lay historians or librarian/archivists so the captions are rich and accurate. Good luck! Lisa Oppenheim loppenheim@CHICAGOHISTORYFAIR.ORG -----Original Message----- From: H-Net/NCPH Discussion List on Public History [mailto:H-PUBLIC@H-NET.MSU.EDU ] On Behalf Of H-Public editors Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 6:31 PM To: H-PUBLIC@H-NET.MSU.EDU Subject: QUERY: Best Arcadia Press books? Friends: Arcadia Press is looking for someone to done of their picture books of our town, and I have lined up a graduate student who would be the author. I think it might be a nice opportunity for a Public History MA to graduate with a book on her CV, or perhaps a "book." Two questions: 1. Are there some "best" Arcadia press books we should look to as models? The few I have looked at are fairly flat, with images (sometimes of poor quality) and very basic captions or no captions at all. Are there better ones out there? 2. Are there any questions of concerns that I am not thinking of, reasons why this might not be a good idea? Thanks! Larry Larry Cebula Associate Professor of History, Eastern Washington University Assistant Digital Archivist, Washington State Archives Tel: 509.847.5232 Blog: NorthwestHistory.blogspot.com larrycebula@GMAIL.com --- 2) Hi Larry: Have you looked into the History Press, which allows for more narrative than Arcadia Jon Jon Taylor jtaylor01@UCMO.EDU --- 3) The issues with Arcadia books are very well known and revolve around one essential fact: Arcadia does not offer professional editing or graphic design. It is a template shop. If you want to produce something of value, then work with your student, offer professional editing, and find some well-designed photo book that is not Arcadia-produced but could be adapted to their specifications. Also be careful about costs. Who is paying for the photographs? Will they be top quality? Can you talk Arcadia out of applying that muddy sepia tone to everything? Clearly I am not a fan. My notes come in the context of many, many years of working in public history and in the applications of historical photography to deeply researched story telling. Jane Freundel Levey Historian (director of heritage and community programs) Cultural Tourism DC firstname.lastname@example.org --- 4) Dear Larry, I think that the quality of the content of the Arcadia Press books often depends on the author(s). The books that have a clearly defined focus and in which the author actively interprets the images and engages with secondary literature are the most successful, in my mind. For examples (full disclosure--written by people I know) I would look to: _Five Points Neighborhood of Denver_ by Laura Mauck http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/9780738518701/Five-Points-Neighborhood-of-Denver _Fargo, North Dakota_ by David Danbom and Claire Strom http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/9780738520179/Fargo-North-Dakota-1870-1940 _Mexicans in San Jose) by Nannette Regua and Arturo Villarreal http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/9780738569307/Mexicans-in-San-Jose These books are popular in part because of their affordability. I think that a creative writer can bring sophisticated interpretation to new audiences in these texts. I don't think that many academic hiring committees would evaluate them in the same way as a monograph, but a successful book would indicate a student's ability to use a variety of sources and write in a clear and compelling way. Good luck! Modupe Modupe Labode Assistant Professor History and Museum Studies Public Scholar of African American History and Museums 317-274-3829 mlabode@IUPUI.EDU -- H-Public To post to the list: H-PUBLIC@h-net.msu.edu Home page: www.h-net.org/~public sponsored by the National Council on Public History (www.ncph.org) --