Proposal: History

I'm very interested in local history, but it isn't clear from the definition or sample questions whether or not local history questions will be in scope. For example:

  • When was [building] in [location] built and by whom?
  • When did [name of city] gain city status?
  • Where did [name of street] in [some place] get its name from?
  • When did the railway reach [some place]?

These are clearly history questions but they aren't world history, which most of the example questions seem to be about. Is local history in or out of the scope of the proposed History SE? If it's out, where do you draw the line (for example, questions about world famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty may be in scope but questions about a relatively obscure monument in the back of beyond may not be).

My own preference would be for local history questions to be considered IN the scope of the History SE, but I acknowledge that does carry the risk that several questions could be left unanswered for a considerable time if they're specific to a particular area that the community have little knowledge about, or (worse) people might lose interest in the SE if lots of the questions are outside their field of knowledge/interest.

(PS - if the proposed SE is only for world history as opposed to any history, that should be reflected in the name)


2 Answers 2


I'm having a difficult time imagining local history questions working well on Stack Exchange, although I would love to be proven short sighted on that point. Outside of select localities and facts that are more widely recognized it is an area where current Internet references have some holes. However, even if a question about a specific local history point is answered on the Stack Exchange I can foresee situations where the answer is difficult to verify because it requires access to records that are not available online.

Questions about where to locate and how to interpret certain kinds of records might be useful though but that is speculation. I think that a question of that type might be on topic being similar to the current fifth on-topic example question.


Local history is a fundamental part of history as a discipline. For example, I have extensive, but very specific knowledge about the history of my hometown and I'm sure others do as well. It is important that we leverage this knowledge.

The easiest way to handle this would to use tags. As a general rule, tags could be based on location.

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