My name is Stan Prager and my central focus is Public History, especially the marriage of history and technology. This includes digital archiving, oral histories, media solutions, as well as online access and presentations that enhance historical scholarship and preservation. I have a Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History, and I have served as the president of a computer services technology company for many years. I also act as frequent contributor to a local television station as an on-air technology consultant.
My most recent public history/academic work focuses upon the nativist American Party—also called the Know-Nothings—in antebellum Massachusetts, and their unlikely role in effecting public school integration. Paradoxically, Know-Nothing political dominance translated into the passage of a great body of progressive legislation, including a law in 1855 that outlawed segregation in Massachusetts schools—the first state in the nation to do so. As such, I did a presentation on this topic at History Camp Pioneer Valley 2017 on July 29, 2017. Also, my journal article, “Strange Bedfellows: Nativism, Know-Nothings, African-Americans and School Desegregation in Antebellum Massachusetts,” was published in the Saber and Scroll Journal [Volume 6, Issue 2 Spring-Summer 2017 (September 2017)]. Finally, I created a website to showcase this material. All of this can be accessed by clicking on the link below:
Another recent project has involved the creation of a website showcasing the previously unpublished letters of George W. Gould, an ordinary Massachusetts private killed at the bloody battle of Cold Harbor in 1864. For more on this, click here:
My interests are wide-ranging, including optimizing environmental conditions for artifact and archival preservation by implementing best practices to battle the onslaught of entropy, oral history, historic preservation, exhibition, book collecting and preservation, and more. My intellectual pursuits are likewise eclectic, including ancient history, American history, Civil War studies, archaeology (especially digital archaeology techniques), anthropology, and the interdisciplinary “big history” genre. My technology background includes more than fourteen years as owner and president of GoGeeks, a computer services firm. I frequently build custom computers to order. More on GoGeeks here:
I obtained my M.A. in Public History from American Public University, having completed concentrated studies in archives and manuscript management, digital preservation, museum and exhibition culture, historic preservation, oral history and related public history themes, a digital archiving Practicum internship, as well as ancient history electives. I earned a 4.0 GPA and am a member of the Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society. I was selected as Arts & Humanities Academic Scholar Student of the Year of my graduating class. Salient examples of my projects and papers are available for perusal in the appropriate “Projects” menu and sub-menus above and here:
I spearheaded a digital archiving project in 2014 at the archives of the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, in Springfield, Massachusetts, that digitized a trove of recently rediscovered Civil War primary sources . A grant was awarded by the Massachusetts Sesquicentennial Commission of the American Civil War to digitize the diaries, correspondence and memoirs of the Massachusetts 31st Infantry, which served with the notorious Massachusetts political General Benjamin Butler as the occupying force in New Orleans after its fall to Union forces in the early part of the Civil War. More than a century ago, the regimental historian collected materials for a projected regimental history that never came to fruition, and these documents have sat in the archive forgotten and unexplored ever since. I served a central role digitizing these materials using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to generate searchable text which was then uploaded to the web for public access. I also selected the equipment and software that was utilized in this regard. My essay, “Behind the Scenes: Digital Archiving,” was published on the website created for this project. There is a lot more information and links to this project here:
Digitization is a particular area of professional emphasis for me: scanning manuscripts and images into tagged digital files, as well as utilizing state of the art Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities to scan archival documents into searchable digital text files suitable for upload to the web for public access. I recently launched a new associated venture to my computer services company – Digital Archive Solutions – to offer onsite grant-friendly digital archiving services tailored to small institutions that lack the requisite resources to facilitate their own digitization goals. Add another thousand years to the life of your archives … For more information, click here:
I am active in a number of professional organizations, including National Council on Public History (NCPH), American Historical Association (AHA), Society of American Archivists (SAA), American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), and Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). I served a three year term as an elected Library Trustee in the town of East Longmeadow, MA – which further piqued my interest in Public History and its implications.
I am the owner and president of GoGeeks Computer Rescue, a small computer repair and manufacturing business in East Longmeadow, MA, but no longer need to serve a daily role directing its operations. I have also taught technology courses at the business center of Holyoke Community College, including a summer “geek camp” that taught teenagers how to build their own computers. More on GoGeeks here:
My complete Resume/CV is accessible in the “Curriculum Vitae” menu above and here:
I serve as a frequent technology consultant for ABC News-40 Western Mass News TV, and video broadcast segments are included in the “Television” menu and sub-menus above and here:
I am originally from Fairfield Connecticut but now reside in the Springfield area of Western Massachusetts. I have always loved to read, and I typically read several books at the same time. I have also built up a small personal library of a couple of thousand volumes that encompasses my interests. My favorite weekend pursuit is to troll used bookstores! I also maintain a book blog of original reviews which can be accessed here:
There is a link to my cataloged book collection and other relevant sites in the “Links” menu above and here:
I am currently seeking to locate the appropriate avenue to combine my passion for history with my technology skills — with an eye towards working in digitization or a related arena with a museum, archive or related institution — which strikes me as the perfect marriage of technology and history.
Stan Prager Appears on Western Mass News ABC News-40 to Discuss Digitization & Genealogy Research — and the Marriage of “History & Technology.”
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER:
FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME: