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Diggin’ in the Crates: The Role of Community Archives in Suburban History with Dr. Anthony Pratcher

October 12, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Historians try to represent the past as experienced by the people who lived it – as opposed through the lens of our present reality. However, academic scholars struggle to identify sources that document everyday experiences in suburban communities. Suburban Phoenix has transformed Arizona, primarily rural at the time of the Great Depression, into one of the most urbanized states in the Union. This talk illuminates the historical experience of Women’s Auxiliaries at the Maryvale Community Hospital to show the relationship between healthcare and suburbanization after World War II. Community archives – like those at local historical societies – are critical for understanding suburban history; however, academic historians often overlook these sources in lieu of research materials housed at large repositories. The scholarly intervention in this narrative was made possible with archival materials stored at the Glendale Arizona Historical Society and shows how community archives are critical sites for future scholarship on suburban history.

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This program is cohosted by Phoenix Public Library. This is an in-person event.


Dr. Anthony Pratcher II is a Lecturer and Honors Faculty Fellow in Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University. He was awarded a B.A. in History from Howard University and a Ph. D. in American History from the University of Pennsylvania. His scholarship uses oral interviews, census data, and archival collections to explore how urban policies influence community formation in the metropolitan Southwest. His research has been funded by an NEH/ODH Fellowship on Space and Place in Africana/Black Studies and he has been published by Pennsylvania Magazine of Biography and History, Southern California Quarterly, and Technology and Culture.


October 12, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Burton Barr Central Library – Pulliam Auditorium
1221 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004 United States
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(602) 262-4636
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