Benjamin Guterman

This site features some of my historical work, much of it connected with my writing and editorial compilation of THE FEDERALIST newsletter and FEDERAL HISTORY journal (www.shfg.org).  My reports on selected articles and books by others that have appeared in those publications are also included. It also provides introductions to selected records projects I’ve worked on at the National Archives in Washington, DC.  Thus, overall, the site explores the full range of federal history work. It provides information from a wide variety of history offices and programs, looking at the work of historians, curators, archivists, editors, educators, managers, and others.  It provides links to resources and articles on how these individuals and offices produce historical materials and content.  These discussions also hold valuable insights for those in the wider, nonfederal, public history field.

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Benjamin Guterman received his BA and MA (1987) degrees in U.S. history at San Francisco State University.  He received a Ph.D. in Colonial American History from the University of Maryland at College Park (1994) with his dissertation “The ‘Ancient’ Freemen of New York City: Artisans and the Development of Urban Society, 1664–1776.”  He has been an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Virginia, teaching graduate seminars in Colonial American History, and at the University of Maryland, where he lectured on the Colonial and Early National periods.

His has written “Doing ‘Good Brave Work’: Harriet Tubman’s Testimony at Beaufort, South Carolina,” Prologue (Fall 2000); compiled Internships in Federal History: An SHFG Guide (SHFG: Washington, DC, 2010), online at www.shfg.org; and written numerous reviews, including reviews of Identities in North America: The Search for Community, eds., Robert L. Earle and John D. Wirth (Journal of Ethnic History, January 1996); Race, Class, and Community in Southern Labor History, eds., Gary M. Fink and Merl E. Reed (The Historian, December 1995); and Oral History and Public Memories, eds., Paula Hamilton and Linda Shopes (The Federalist, Summer 2012).

Since 1996, he has served as a writer and editor at the National Archives in Washington, DC, working on the agency’s journal, Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration, and as editor on many other agency publications, exhibits, documentary editions, and articles. Those projects include

  • The Freedmen’s Bureau Preservation Project (2003–8)
  • The Holocaust-era Assets Preservation Project (2000–10)
  • The Mauthausen Concentration Camp Complex: World War II and Postwar Records (2008)
  • Federal Records Pertaining to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) (2004)
  • Selected Records of the Imperial German Navy Relating to World War I (2008)
  • Presidential Libraries Holdings Relating to Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (Rev. 2007)
  • Black Studies: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications (Rev. 2007)
  • U.S. Restitution of Nazi-Looted Cultural Treasures to the USSR, 1945– 1959: Facsimile Documents from the National Archives of the United States (CD-ROM) (2001)
  • “The Civil War: Records at the National Archives (2011)
  • “At the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis” (2012)

He has been active in the Society for History in the Federal Government since 2002 in several capacities: as an executive council member, 2007–9; member of the By-Laws Revision Committee, 2011; member of the Long-Range Planning Committee, 2011; and Chair of the Publications Committee, 2004–present. In 2010, he assumed the role of webmaster and redesigned and expanded the Society’s web site (www.shfg.org), for which he earned the Society’s Mary Ellen Trautman Award for outstanding service to the organization. He helped restart The Federalist newsletter (Second Series) in 2004, and continues to serve as its editor. In 2009, he co-founded Federal History journal, and serves as its editor.