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Our say: Search on for objects that tell city's story

Date: May 13, 2015, Capital Gazette

History is not merely something on paper. It's also the story told by our human-created environment, from the roads we drive on to the neighborhoods we live in to the buildings where we conduct most of our lives to the objects we handle.

The whole point of a museum is to use selected objects to explain and illuminate the past — to bring it to life. The director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, came up with an elegant variation on this for a 2010 BBC radio series he later turned into a best-selling book: "A History of the World in 100 Objects." This provided the impetus for exhibits and for books such as Richard Kurin's "The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects."

Historic Annapolis is now working on a similar exhibit: "A History of Annapolis in 99 Objects," scheduled to open in November 2016. The final selection of objects will come this summer; the organization has been asking for nominations online.

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