In the previous post, some comments from the editor of Record of Witney (1978) on the future of the historical society stood out and suggested a line of thought:
Does such a society have practical purposes and what might those purposes be?
In a conversation relating to that, an idea was put forward that a history society should be, if not apolitical, then above politics. A counter-point suggested that since a historical society studies the past, that this perspective means a student of history can consider the past’s relation to the present and the future, and that it could be argued that the work of a history society is not only to examine dusty tomes and artefacts from the past, but to take what is learned and put it to use in the present with an eye to the future.
What does that mean?
Perhaps that the critical thinking skills and research needed to examine the past can be put to use in the present as living history unfolds around us.