Thanks for visiting my website.  Here you'll discover the sorts of projects and activities I undertake as a professional historian and curator.  I've over twenty years' experience in historical research and editing, university teaching, and museum exhibition creation.  My specialties include:

American material culture, consumption, and everyday life
American photography, especially 19th-century commercial photography
American visual culture
American 19th- and 20th-century social and cultural history

Public history, cultural heritage, and museum studies
American women's history
Connecticut Western Reserve studies and the New Local History

Check the Blog page (the most recent posts appearing below) to read about the various projects I'm researching, writing, fuming over, and thoroughly enjoying.  I also post there news of books and articles, events and exhibitions, collections and historic sites.
Please feel free to review my curriculum vitae and other pages on this website to see my work.

I helped to establish and currently serve (voluntarily) as the historian for the Vienna Historical Society, Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio.  Please check out the Society's website to discover what a group of dedicated community members can do to preserve the past in a small town.  What research I've undertaken for and with the Society is reported there.  You may also be interested in Viennapedia, a wiki-form encyclopedia on Vienna's history, initiated in March 2012 and now containing over 400 entries. 

The banner image is based on a postcard taken of Vienna Center, Trumbull County, Ohio, in the early decades of the twentieth century.  Vienna is my hometown.


  • Playing Catch-up The New Year brought with it a new job.  I'm now Curator of History at the Michigan State University Museum.  Two months into the job, and I'm already ...
    Posted Jun 23, 2014, 11:26 AM by Shirley Wajda
  • Mad as a Hatter: The Danbury Shakes Here's my essay, for Connecticuthistory.org, on the problem of mercury poisoning among hatters in Danbury, Connecticut:  http://connecticuthistory.org/ending-the-danbury-shakes-a-story-of-workers-rights ...
    Posted Jan 6, 2014, 9:44 AM by Shirley Wajda
  • The Economy of Makeshifts The phrase, "the economy of makeshifts," is historian Olwen Hufton's.  She employed it in The Poor of Eighteenth Century France 1750-1789 (1974) to describe the survival strategies of ...
    Posted Jan 14, 2012, 9:54 AM by Shirley Wajda
Showing posts 1 - 3 of 9. View more »