Profile: Active History

History Matters is a website that connects the work of historians with the wider public and the importance of the past to current events. It developed from the conference “Active History: History for the Future” at Glendon College in September 2008. We define active history variously as history that listens and is responsive; history that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives; history that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities. We seek a practice of history that emphasizes collegiality, builds community among active historians and other members of communities, and recognizes the public responsibilities of the historian.
We are always looking for people to contribute to the website. Please contact Daniel Ross, the Public Outreach Coordinator, at if you would like to join or support the project. Please also visit our French-language sister site,

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NoteStreams By Active History

Gin and Tonic: A Short History of a Stiff Drink

By the early nineteenth century, chemists had isolated quinine from cinchona bark. It formed an essential ingredient in tonic water.

Category: History

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