The Public Historian
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This paper traces the development and distribution of museums and public monuments in one province of China during the twentieth century, with special emphasis on the cultural policies of the post–Mao reform era. By considering the museum and monument (i.e., artifacts, historically significant geographic features, and the physical representation of historical experience) as among the most tangible aspects of historical capital, it is demonstrated how region, province, and nation are involved with public and private interests in an ongoing dialogue over what types of history are to be represented, and in what context. This evidence suggests that while the state may impose its own historical interpretation in key areas, most public history is sponsored and managed by provincial, regional, and even commercial interests which represent the immediate interest first, leaving the connection with the nation to develop on its own tenuous ground. Regional historical representation, therefore, demonstrated that "national history" is not the sum of its parts, and that the "making" of public history occurs at multiple levels of bureaucracy, and through many levels of patronage.