Lorraine McConaghy, Public Historian, “MOHAI’s Bezos Center for Innovation”
Dr. Lorraine McConaghy is the public historian at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), in Seattle, and a lecturer in Museum Studies at the University of Washington. She has received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching History, the DAR National Heritage Medal for Oral History, the AKCHO Charles Payton Award, and the Annual History Award from the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild. In 2009, MOHAI received three national awards — from the American Association for State and Local History, the National Council on Public History and the Oral History Association — based on Lorraine McConaghy’s work. In 2010, she was awarded the Robert Gray Medal, the most distinguished award in Washington State for a historian.
In 2009, the University of Washington Press published her Warship Under Sail: USS Decatur in the Pacific West, 1854-1859. Warship Under Sail has been well received, earning awards from AASLH and from the Washington Museums Association. Spencer Tucker, reviewing the book in the Journal of Military History, began, “This is a marvelous book, worthy of high praise ….” Her documentary history of Washington Territory and State, New Land North of the Columbia, has just been published by Sasquatch Books, and Free Boy, her twined biography of a slave and his master in Olympia, Washington Territory, 1860, is forthcoming in 2013 at University of Washington Press. Her ongoing research interests, aside from work on the new MOHAI at south Lake Union, are focused on the Civil War in Washington Territory.