The professionalization of history was tightly bound to nationalism. Historians in early modern Europe distinguished between story and inventory: chronology and chorography. The latter was the domain of the local antiquarian and county historian. Even as local history professionalized and cut its antiquarian/chorographical roots, the profession still marginalized it, and local history was mainly published by antiquarian or local societies. Even those who carved out a field distinct from national history, such as the German genre of Landesgeschicte (regional or provincial history), were considered subordinate if not actually suspect endeavors by the profession. Recently, however, European historians have embraced the locality and the region not just as a convenient sample or area of analysis, but as the salient tool to understand continental historical development.
Key, Newton E. "Introduction: Localités and Nationalism as the Vestigial and the lncipient?" Research and Review Series 7 (2000): 1-7. Available at: http://works.bepress.com/newton_key/1