Caroline Klibanoff is a public historian, facilitating engaging, accessible and meaningful connections with the past.

AUDIENCE ADVOCAcy | Digital Strategy |museums | civic engagement

 

About Me

I've been lucky to have worked with many great brands and organizations to improve the way they relate to core and emerging audiences through better communications, project management, and digital content and strategy. 

I’m currently part of the exhibitions team at the MIT Museum, developing exhibits for the museum’s current site while planning big things for a brand-new, innovative and responsive museum opening in 2021.

I started my career learning from the best in strategic communications at the Pew Research Center, before moving to a video production role at the FrameWorks Institute. At both Pew and FrameWorks, I was tasked with examining the disparate landscape of public opinion and weaving this into a narrative for Americans to better understand themselves, through public-facing products like social media communities; online courses; videos and podcasts; blog posts targeting a younger, digital audience; and live panels and events. 

During my M.A. in Public History at Northeastern University, I co-authored the National Register of Historic Places documentation for the Longfellow House - George Washington's Headquarters; conducted research for Northern Light Productions and the National WWII Museum; planned a symposium on immigration, sanctuary and identity for the Cambridge Historical Society; and coordinated the activities of the Northeastern University's Digital Scholarship Group. I also completed a Certificate in Digital Humanities and launched the Atlas of Southern Memory, a digital intervention for commemorative practice.

In the civic engagement realm, I serve as digital director of Big Tent Nation, which recently joined The Bridge Alliance. For these groups, I've had the honor of developing a national awards program, the Civvys, highlighting civic collaboration, and participating in planning the National Week of Conversation.

I hold a B.A. in American Studies and Film & Media Studies from Georgetown University, where I produced a thesis on news literacy initiatives; a capstone documentary film on the changing journalism industry; and a film about the campus radio station, WGTB, where I worked as station manager.

I'm originally from Atlanta, lived in Washington, D.C. and currently reside in Boston. I run a history blog with my sisters, called Sistory.

 

Where I've Been

 

Recent Work

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City of Concrete

Learn the history behind Boston's "ugliest" architecture, and click through interactive components to decide whether they should be destroyed or preserved. I built this digital exhibit using Omeka for Victoria Cain's Museums and Exhibitions Course, Spring 2018.

States of Incarceration Massachusetts

I served on the planning committee to produce a local version of this traveling exhibit from the Humanities Action Lab. The panel I wrote and designed, "Boston's Geography of Incarceration," highlights spatial patterns of crime and imprisonment in Boston.

The Atlas of Southern Memory

In an age of fervent debate around who and what should be memorialized by statues, monuments and plaques, the Atlas of Southern Memory is a digital intervention for commemoration, enabling broader participation, annotation, and exploration in "what gets remembered." This project was funded in part through a seedling grant from the NULab for Texts, Maps and Networks.

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The Past is Female Too

We all know "The Future is Female." As a historian dedicated to surfacing stories of women who have often been left out of the narrative, I'm certain "The Past is Female Too." Sistory launched this popular (and ongoing!) campaign of content and t-shirts.

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Writing for Sistory.co

A true passion project, Sistory is the history blog and newsletter I produce with my two sisters. Here's a sampling of my work:

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Liquor Ladies, Bootlegging Queens

When alcohol was outlawed in 1920, women more often than men stepped up to (literally) serve. Meet some of these queens in this interactive map. Full story here.

The girls built a one-room shack on the cemetery grounds and lived in it 24/7, guarding the property with shotguns. They put up a sign that said “Trespass at Your Own Peril.”

John Roosevelt was only five when his father contracted polio in 1921. The disease robbed the future president of the use of his legs and left him mostly wheelchair-bound. And John, the youngest child, was not having it.

Dorothy Counts took on a task no kid should have to endure when she became one of the first black students to enroll at an all-white school, in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1956. And now? She's on Facebook.

Long story short, no. Even if I had survived the journey out West, there would have been one serious sticking point: the soddie.

In 1922, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Chicago had wide-ranging radio broadcast stations; Atlanta, the foremost Southern city, did not, representing a void for the whole region.

How can New Hampshire be home to one of the nation's first integrated schools - and also the mob that destroyed it?

Boston's 18th-century businesswomen left their significant estates to other women. I am moved by this, but also curious: was this common, or even accepted, for women to accumulate wealth and then pass it on to a gal pal rather than a spouse or family member?

How'd we get stuck with this national anthem? Turns out, we had our chance to change it. In 1861, the Committee Upon the National Hymn was formed to find a new national anthem. They were not successful.

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Raindrop. Drop top. She built a bridge when her man stopped. How Emily Roebling stepped up and built. that. bridge.

Women stepped up to fill construction roles during World War II and built the Waterloo Bridge. So why have they been left out of the story?

How many Smoots does it take to get across the Harvard Bridge? What - you've never heard of a Smoot?

The Boy Who Never Grew Up (Or Out of Copyright)

The author of Peter Pan has managed to hold onto a copyright license far longer than is ever typically granted. All of the proceeds benefit a children's hospital. But were his motivations pure?

See more of what I'm working on now, like public programs and a national civic awards initiative, in my Current Projects.