About The History List
Updated May 2018: The video above is an update of some of the material described below and shown in the slides. You'll find more about me below.
— Lee Wright | Founder | The History List | History Camp
Launched in the Boston area in 2011, The History List is the platform historical societies, historic sites, and other organizations use to attract and engage visitors and members through . . .
- Listing on the The History List
- Tools to power the events calendar on their own sites
- E-mails delivered to subscribers weekly that list history events in their state and region
- History Camps that bring together communities interested in history
- Resources that organizations of all sizes can use
While there are many lists of historic sites and many event calendars, The History List was built from the ground up to meet the needs of local history organizations.
- Open to all organizations—Any organization that presents history events, exhibits, and other history programming, including state and local historical societies, history museums, historic sites, libraries, walking tour operators, reenactor groups, preservation organizations, house museums, living history museums, sailing ship operators, national associations, cities and towns, government agencies and commissions, and genealogy organizations, along with history authors, costumed interpreters, and experts.
- No cost to add your organization and events.
- Easy for anyone to use. A typical local history organization can add their year of events in about 30 minutes. See a list of features and request an account.
- Weekly newsletters with upcoming history events deliver information on your events to subscribers every week. All content is drawn from The History List, so once an organization enters their events on The History List, they'll be included automatically. Learn more about the format, the roll out across states and regions, and how you can participate.
- Power the calendar on your site or create an events calendar with different types of events, or events from different organizations with these tools.
- Resources for organizations of all sizes provide research, tool, and insight to support history programming across the country.
2008: Put the city’s historic property survey records online—Marlborough was one of the first communities in Massachusetts to do this. Total cost: $40. All done by volunteers.
Idea Exchange—First gathering of history organizations throughout New England.
2010: Talk at BarCamp Boston—"History 2.0: Remaking the Study and Preservation of History Using Collaborative Web-based Tools”
2011: Launched The History List, built from the ground up to support local history organizations and help them attract new visitors and members to their events and exhibits. Here's what some of them had to say about it.
→ Read "Why I started The History List"
2012: Ignite talk at MIT’s Media Lab—"History 2.0: Make History—Save History”
2013: Panel presentation at New England Museum Association Conference: "Collaborations for non-profit institutions: The who, what, when, where, why and why not"
2014: Launched History Camp with a sold out event in Cambridge.
2015: Added History Camp Iowa.
Launched the weekly “Guide to History Events in Massachusetts”—Expanding to other states, including RI, IA, NH, CT
2016: Added History Camp Pioneer Valley (Holyoke) and History Camp Colorado (Denver)
Launched The History List store in March.
2017: Expanded History Camp Boston to History Camp Weekend with the participation of local organizations, which programmed events on Sunday.
Presented at the Massachusetts History Conference.
Began offering The History List products to historic sites and history organizations for them to sell in their shops. The Old North Church, Historic Deerfield, the Maryland Historical Society, and the Missouri Historical Society are some of the organizations that now carry products from The History List.
Launched "The Historic America Collection," helping historic sites and history organizations earn additional income online by offering their unique items to a national audience through The History List store. The Old North Church, the Newport Historical Society, the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum are among the early participants.
Introduced design services, working initially with Longfellow's Wayside Inn to develop products that are based on their historic site and appeal to modern tastes.
2018: Expanded retail partners, adding the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield), Ford's Theatre (Washington), Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, The Museum of the American Revolution and the Independence Visitor Center (Philadelphia)
2019: Expanded retail partners, adding Fort Ticonderoga, the Lexington Historical Society, the Henry Knox Museum, the History channel store, and others. Introduced WWII-related products. Added History Camp Virginia. Established The Pursuit of History to create and manage History Camps in new cities.
2020: Added Mayflower items to The History List Store in conjunction with the Pilgrim Hall Museum, and expanded the collection with a broader range of products covering more eras and historical topics, including our first design for Christmas. In March, just days away from our biggest History Camp ever, History Camp Boston with 550 people registered—we were at capacity and had to cut off registrations early—the pandemic forced us to cancel this and the rest of the History Camps planned for the year. (Check out the fabulous sessions that were scheduled for Boston.) Within a few weeks we launched a weekly discussion series, History Camp Discussions, with noted history authors, which are streamed every Thursday night at 8 pm (Eastern) at HistoryCamp.org/discussions. These are presented by The Pursuit of History, and to support the organization and do so in a way aligned with our mission, we began a series of limited edition silk screened, signed, numbered prints featuring original art of our nation's great historic sites. In the fall we created America's Summer Roadtrip, a free event with tours and live interviews from 12 historic sites across the country. Running from 9 am to 9 pm, this was the first event of its kind and drew people from accross the country. Despite the pandemic and historic sites across the country closed, greatly reducing our sales to historic sites, The History List Store had the best year ever.
2021: Added more designs and products, including a Christmas ornament and cards, to The History List Store. With in-person events looking questionable, we did the first History Camp America, a major online event with more than 30 sessions and seven tours of historic sites, well-known social media personalities focused on history, chefs with historic recipes, and even yoga from a historic tavern to start the day. Nearly 500 people registered for this paid event, which included an optional box full of products—a shirt, hat, glass, magnet, bookmarks, poster, small print, and more—that people loved. The event, created by the non-profit organization The Pursuit of History, was extremely sucessful, attracting people from across the country. We expect to make this an annual event even after we restart in-person History Camps. Finished the year with the first in our "The History List On The Road" video series, which was a trip to Fort Ticonderoga.
Earlier volunteer efforts include . . .
- The Massachusetts IMLS Connecting to Collections Statewide Planning Grant Advisory Board
- The Board of Trustees of the Des Moines Public Library System
- The Board of Directors of the Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago
- Member of the United Way/Crusade of Mercy Campaign Effectiveness Council (Chicago, IL)
- The Board of Directors of the Association for Retarded Citizens (now called "The Arc) for both Dallas and the state of Texas
Some of the volunteer efforts with historical societies in New England were covered in the Boston Globe a few years ago.
787 Concord Road
Marlborough, MA 01752
→ Are you interested in contributing articles to The History List? Please send me a note with information on what you'd like to cover and links to other things you've written, or include a few examples as attachments.
Thanks for your interest. I look forward to hearing from you.
— Lee Wright | Founder