My name is Dallas Hanbury and I am a third year PhD student in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University. In August 2012 I graduated from MTSU with my Masters in Public History (Archives concentration). As an undergraduate, my interest in archives drew me to Public History. Accordingly, I chose to receive my master’s degree in the field. Although always interested by history, I did not become aware of Public History until my junior year of university. Now that I have spent five years immersed in learning the theory of and practicing Public History, I cannot imagine doing anything else professionally. Public History has enabled me to use history in previously unforeseen ways, including bringing it and a wider audience together.
My present research interests include Twentieth Century African American history, the Black Freedom Movement, Public History broadly and archives specifically. My master’s thesis focused on a working class neighborhood in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and how politics, both local and national, modern urban planning, and a lack of historic preservation significantly altered it over time. While interesting, my doctoral dissertation will depart from my masters work and explore how public libraries in the southeastern United States served African-American patrons during segregation, underwent desegregation, and dealt with the institutional change that accompanied integration .