This article explores historians’ role in shaping public policy amid crises through the programs of the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS). ISHS navigated the post-2008 recession, aligning with the History Relevance Campaign to redefine history’s societal value and develop a legislative outreach program. This article encapsulates the ISHS’s journey and history’s power—through the agency’s new briefing paper program—to inform, unite, guide policy, and promote informed governance. The article describes the author’s workflow, which features traditional research methodology and adaptable project management philosophies and stresses the value of searchable research libraries as a framework for historians to manage multiple projects.
Informing Policy and Responding to Crisis: The Making of “Idaho’s Response to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic—ISHS Briefing Paper No.1”
HannaLore Hein graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in history and ethnic studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2011. She received her Master of Arts in Applied Historical Research from Boise State University in May 2015. Hein worked as a consulting historian from 2015–2019, when she resigned to assume the position of State Historian with the ISHS. Hein serves on the agency’s leadership team and assists in making strategic decisions for the agency. She is a content resource for Idaho’s executive and legislative branches of government on topics related to Idaho history; assists in the agency’s interpretive analysis; and authors articles for various media channels and publications. Currently, she is leading efforts to organize the state’s commemoration for the semiquincentennial of the American Revolution in 2026.
HannaLore Hein; Informing Policy and Responding to Crisis: The Making of “Idaho’s Response to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic—ISHS Briefing Paper No.1”. The Public Historian 1 February 2024; 46 (1): 108–127. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2024.46.1.108
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