chapter  1
10 Pages

“Within These Walls”: Reading and Writing Institutional Histories  . 

Historians who embark upon the journey of writing an institutional history are plunged head-first into the churning sea of ideas and beliefs, personalities and politics, passions and pragmatism, the competing ideals of conformity and rebellion, and a thousand other things that define the human condition. Like any explorer then, the institutional historian must possess the proper tools so that she might be successful in her voyage of discovery. Among these are an open and inquisitive mind, attention to detail, and patience enough to slog through mountains of the mundane-the proverbial haystack-in search of not just the needle, but the thread that holds the institutional narrative together.