About

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Stumbling Through the Past is for anyone interested in history. I share the history I encounter in my everyday life through my work, reviews of books and exhibitions, news from conferences I attend, the history of places I travel to as well as issues currently of interest to the public and profession.

I am a professional writer and researcher who specialises in history and technical writing. I started my career in chartered accounting before working in public relations. Now I do freelance writing and research.

Three elements form the core of my historical work:

  1. Thorough archival research, the bedrock of an historian’s job;
  2. The use of technology to gain historical insights and higher productivity in my work. I discuss these issues in more depth on my digital humanities blog, Stumbling Through the Future and;
  3. Connecting the public with history through engaging writing and effective use of social media

Read more about my professional work on the website of the Professional Historians Association of NSW & ACT.

Stumbling Through the Past is about listening as well as imparting.  It is about collaboration and sharing.  Stumbling Through the Past is a place where the general public who is interested in history can mingle with professional historians.  Please feel free to share your observations and knowledge through comments on these pages or drop me an e-mail at perkinsy1@yahoo.com.au

Yvonne Perkins
Sydney, 2016

26 thoughts on “About

  1. I’ve stumbled across this blog via The Resident Judge, and I look forward to learning more from you. Thanks for using the Web to share that specialised knowledge and your enthusiasm.
    Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers, Melbourne

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  2. Great web site! I like how you weave together your interests, both academic and personal. I agree with your statement, “I have noticed how much historical knowledge is generated in the academy but is difficult for the general public to access.” The same is true for my area of the humanities, too, literature. We talk about it, write and publish papers about it, yet the places where we publish are off limits to all but those associated with a university. It’s time to open the doors to the Ivory Tower.

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  3. This site was given by LinkedIn as the Australian Historical Association’s site. Is that correct? Your description suggests it’s a personal site rather than an organisation site.

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      • This is a personal blog, not the website of the Australian Historical Association. This link will take you to the AHA website. I have checked LinkedIn and it shows the AHA website address in the group’s profile. I think the confusion lies because I initiated a discussion on the LinkedIn AHA group and the discussion entry includes a link to my blog.

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  4. I just found you through Lisa Hill and your bib of Indigenous writings. I am thrilled I did. I am a retired historian in the USA. While in grad school I worked in a variety of jobs designed to do on exactly the kind of sharing you are doing. My own interests focus on US women’s history, particularly that of women of color, but I taught a variety of courses on groups left out traditional histories.
    Since retiring I have been exploring women’s versions of their lives globablly. I stumbled into the Australian Women Writers Challenge and have loved reading the writings of women from there, especially those by and about Aborigines women. Having been through the “culture wars” here, I appreciate your references to Australia’a version of them. I think I share your position of them.

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    • Welcome to this blog! It’s great reading beyond one’s own national history. This is something that I should address more in this blog (but not until I have written the pile of posts that are currently in the pipeline!). I’m currently reading a biography of a celebrated female author, Stella Miles Franklin. To my surprise she was heavily involved in the woman’s trade movement in Chicago pre WWI. I’d love to read a review written by you of this book, although you are probably like me and have a large “to be read” pile and many posts in the pipeline!

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  5. I am in process of reviewing My Brilliant Career for Franklin’s birthday. October 14, I think? Are you celebrating it on your blog? Should I sent you a copy? After reading MBC, I did a more thorough search for Roe’s biography and will try again to get a copy on interlibrary loan.

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    • Yes it is October 14. I’m reviewing All That Swagger. I’ve just come back from a busy holiday so I’ve lots of reading to do! I’ll look out for your review. Glad you are going to read the biography!

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  6. Pingback: Feature: Global Women of Color Challenge: Interview with Marilyn Dell Brady | Australian Women Writers Challenge

  7. I stumbled across your blog through Reconciliation Australia’s Facebook page. Sounds really interesting so am following. I’m in the process of studying to take a late-30s career chance into teaching and am also on a personal journey to learn more about Australia’s hidden histories. I’m not a historian (in fact, I dropped history as soon as I could when I was at school) but perhaps now is the time to learn more 🙂

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    • Great to have you on board Andrew! What kind of teaching are you intending to do? I’ve toyed with doing what you are doing but settled on doing the Cert IV in training and assessment to become a qualified workplace trainer.

      Hidden histories are the most interesting! Please share what you find.

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      • I’m studying adult and vocational education but want to use it to study legal studies (I am an admitted solicitor), business (both the VET and School versions because I’m currently running an e-learning business in the VET sector), study of society (I have a degree in criminology and experience as a volunteer social worker) and outdoor recreation (I’m a Scout leader and am working on my cert IV in outdoor rec). I am hoping to do a Grad Cert in Indigenous Education through Charles Darwin Uni when I graduate so that I can learn more about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students learn. I want to work either in a school in a lower socio-economic area or in an all-boys’ school or in an alternative school (like one for homeless youth) because they are all the groups of youth who are at risk.

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      • I’m just through my first semester of a course that is 2 years full-time equivalent because I have credit from my other two degrees and post-grad certificate. I’m doing it part-time (2-3 subjects / semester with summer school) so hope to graduate in Nov 2015)

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  8. Thank you so much for your post. Perceptions and attitudes are so important when researching the past. As years pass we so easily lose the sense of not just masculine/feminine attitudes but historical and cultural attitudes as well. When Dr Elsie Inglis proposed creating a women’s medical unit to serve in France she was told by British officials to “go home and sit still.”
    The French were more accommodating. Through a misunderstanding they believed Dr Inglis was merely the spokesperson and that a medical unit with men would turn up. Instead the official was faced with a fully equipped field hospital staffed completely by women who had newly arrived to begin work in about September 1914. Thank God the French official didn’t send them back.
    The attitude of the Russians and the Serb Officers was completely different. They believed in the womens’ capabilities and that they could do the job. At least five of the fourteen Scottish Women’s Hospitals ended up serving in Russia and Serbia during WWI and they supported the women wholeheartedly.

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  9. Hi Lisa, I work with Twentieth Century Fox and we’re looking ahead to the digital release of The Monuments Men on August 20. I just wanted to touch base about an idea we had. Do you have a private email address I can touch base with you on, please?

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  10. Hi Yvonne, I am enjoying reading your articles and am very pleased to find another Australian with a historical blog. Mine is about bushrangers.

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    • Thank you Lesley. History is such a broad field – the kind of history I write about is very different to what you do. It is great that you are blogging and thereby contributing to the diversity of Australian history online. What sparked your interest in bushrangers?

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  12. This is absolutely gold!! I’m in a swoon. Soooo excited to read all you have here. I am so passionate about history and am now working on research to write a book about the history of my family coming from Ireland and England to Australia, and their lives in Australia. They have some pretty fascinating stories. Question – and I apologise if the answer is in your list of resources – I have found Punch articles on Trove, specifically some with photos in. The quality is not great. Is there a place to contact to get better copies of the photos? The issues are late 1890’s and early 1900’s..

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    • I am glad my blog excites you Heather. I do it because I love sharing the interesting and useful history I have found. I have not worked with photos much so cannot help you with your question. I suggest that you ask a librarian. If you can’t get into your state library, check to see if they have an online query facility such as the State Library of Victoria’s ‘Ask a librarian‘.

      Good luck with your research!

      Liked by 1 person

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