Author Archives: Alan Noonan

About Alan Noonan

Alan Noonan is currently a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress. He received his PhD in history from University College Cork, and has experience as a historical consultant and researcher. He has been awarded several fellowships including the Glucksman Government of Ireland Fellowship at New York University, a Mellon Fellowship at the Library Company in Philadelphia, and a fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution at the National Museum of American History.

“THE CHINESE MUST GO. And so must neuralgia and rheumatism…”: Examples of Nineteenth Century Shock Advertising

In our modern age we need only look around us to see the huge role advertising plays in our society. We usually ignore it, having become inured to it thanks to its overwhelming presence in public spaces. In response, advertising … Continue reading

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Trumping a sense of decline. Guest appearance by Abraham Lincoln.

Malaise. Decline. Erosion. Much ink has been spilt over the question of whether the US, the EU, the West, the World is declining. Is decline, as in Gibbon’s famous title, always the predecessor to the fall? Is it at the … Continue reading

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Integrating Public History and Public Space – An example from Philadelphia

In my wanderings I sometimes come across interesting examples of how works of art, public murals, commemorative plaques educate the public in interesting ways. Usually these spaces contain a statue, or a brief description of the person, place or event … Continue reading

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Mugshot Histories: Send in the Clowns

In the nineteenth and early twentieth century an interesting form of biography became popular called mugshot histories. Publishers advertised their book with grandiose titles in states or regions to people who could then purchase an entry for themselves. Along with … Continue reading

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Brooklyn: Expertly filling gaps in our historical memory

In capable hands fiction can be a powerful tool for learning about the past. It can help humanize the past, making it more real for viewers, it can touch upon themes and ideas that are sometimes bogged down in dizzying … Continue reading

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Newspaper clips: “You dirty rat” in the mines

Certainly mining and industrial history isn’t everyones cup of tea – my friends decided to prohibit me from chatting about it whenever we talk – but I find history fascinating and so whenever I see weird anecdotes popping up as … Continue reading

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Liam Cosgrave: A paragon of Irish political ‘me féinism’

There are several remarkable features about Liam Cosgrave. None to do with his political career mind, I want to focus on his life after politics. It is a life that perfectly illustrates the rotten mindset at the heart of a … Continue reading

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