November 10, 2012

A walk through the Shelburne Museum's new visitor's center now under construction with museum director Thomas Denenberg, and a tour of the grounds (189 photos)

Updated August 19, 2013: Now named the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education, the new visitor's center opened on August 18.  It was reviewed by The New York Times on August 17, 2013 (possible paywall).

As part of the 2012 New England Museum Association (NEMA) annual conference, there was a tour of the grounds of the Shelburne Museum (Shelburne,  Vermont)—they had just closed for the season—led by the museum's director of education, Karen Petersen. The highlight of the tour was a walk through the new visitor's center now under construction with museum director Thomas Denenberg, followed by remarks from museum trustees and a slide presentation by architect Steven Gerrard of Ann Beha Architects.

Advance to page 10 in the navigation bar below the photos to go to the beginning of the tour of the building.

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November 2, 2012

History and Interpretation in the National Park Service

Updated: April 27, 2013: The video of the sessions (in two parts) was added to this post.  Hats off to Dr. Jane Becker for arranging for this high-quality video taping so that everyone can hear the discussion that took place in November.  (The delay in posting the video was due to a months-long review by NPS staff in Washington.)

Updated: November 8, 2012: A blog post discussing the afternoon's discussion from Dr. Melinda Marie Jetté on the History@Work blog from the National Council on Public History.


This afternoon in Boston at the University of Massachusetts, National Park Service Rangers and other staff along with members of the university's history program and other interested individuals met to discuss history and interpretation in the parks. 

Cassius Cash, head of the Boston National Historical Park, speaking at a meeting discussing history and interpretation in the National Parks

Speakers included James Green, History Department, UMass Boston; Cassius Cash (pictured above giving welcoming remarks), Boston National Historical Park; Jane Becker, History Department, UMass Boston; Frank Barrows, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park; Christopher Gwinn, Gettysburg National Military Park; Louis Hutchins, formerly Northeast Region, NPS; Lu Ann Jones, Park History Program, NPS; Barbara Pollarine, Northeast Region, NPS; Christine Arato, NPS War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration; Rolf Diamant, formerly Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park; Eric Hanson-Plass, Boston National Historical Park; Antoinette Jackson, Ethnography Program, Southeast Region, NPS; Kerry Olson, Lowell National Historical Park; and Marty Blatt, Boston National Historical Park.

Organized by Dr. Jane Becker in the university's history program and others in the history department as well as in the National Park Service, "Critical Conversations: The State of History in the National Park Service" follows from the report Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service (below), issued last year from the Organization of American Historians under a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service. 

As explained in the report's introduction:

This report urges NPS to recommit to history as one of its core purposes and invest in building a top-flight program of historical research and interpretation that will foster consistently effective and integrated historic preservation and robust, place-based visitor engagement with history. The more central history can be to NPS’s missions and activities, the more relevant and responsive NPS can be to the needs of American society in the twenty-first century.

Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service (2011)

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October 3, 2012

Exhibiting at AASLH 2012 in Salt Lake City

Updated: October 3, 2012: Handout materials from the conference are now included in this post.

Updated: September 29, 2012: I'll also be attending (but not exhibiting) at the New England Museum Association (NEMA) annual conference November 7 - 9, 2012 in Burlington, Vermont.


We'll be exhibiting at the annual conference of the American Association for State and Local History in Salt Lake City.  The conference starts Wednesday, October 3 and the exhibit hall is open Thursday (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and Friday (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.).  We'll be in booth #3, near the AASLH booth and Arcadia Publishing.                             


One of the special events taking place during the conference is the Leadership in History Awards Banquet.  The compilation we published after the awards were first announced has been updated to include links, where available, to the organizations and projects being recognized.

A special note for those in the Boston area about a local event taking place the following week: We have been selected to be part of the upcoming Mass Innovation Nights 43 on October 10.  Mass Innovation Nights was, itself, an innovative idea when launched in 2009 by Bobbie Carlton.  Bobbie was working with the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham, Massachusetts, and with deep ties to the start-up community, launched Mass Innovation Nights as a way to spotlight startups of all kinds and increase awareness of the museum.  Under Bobbie's leadership MIN has grown to be quite an institution, attracting hundreds of people each month to the point of outgrowing the original museum site.

2012 AASLH Annual Meeting Program


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August 10, 2012

Meeting with the Kentucky Historical Society

Meeting with the members of the Kentucky Historical Society on August 3 introduced The History List to another state historical historical society and another region of the country.  Executive Director Kent Whitworth kindly arranged a meeting with his staff, including Jody Blankenship, Director of Education, and Sally Sally Warfield and Chelsea Compton of the Kentucky State Historical SocietyWarfield (left) and Chelsea Compton (right), responsible for online and marketing efforts respectively.

The conversation underscored some of the same points that have come up in discussions with organizations in other regions:

  • The difficulty of maintaining ongoing communication with many of the smaller local historical societies as volunteer leaders come and go and membership ebbs and flows.
  • The interest in providing a tool to local societies that would enable them to publicize their events to a broader audience with little additional effort and no additional cost.
  • The challenge in incorporating a useful events calendar into an institution's site; integrating ticket sales into the calendar; and creating a platform that would publicize the events from the many local organizations without burdening staff with entering all of the events throughout the state.

We will support their new site in any way we can, possibly through our calendar widgets, and look forward to an opportunity to work with local historical societies and other local history organizations in Kentucky interested in adding their organization and events to The History List.  (This is a helpful one-pager that any organization can use to add their organization and events.  An earlier post provided an introduction to our standard embeddable widgets that are built into every listing.  There is no cost to list an organization or event, or to use these widgets.)

The meeting took place in the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, which currently has a large installation entitled, "Civil War: My Brother, My Enemy."  The Center is the headquarters of the Society and is part of the Kentucky Historical Society Campus in downtown Frankfort.  The Old State Capitol (included in the pictures below) and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal are also part of the campus.  The 167,000-square-foot, $29-million Center for Kentucky History opened in April 1999.  The Kentucky Historical Society was founded in 1836.

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August 9, 2012

New feature: See all your additions and edits on one page

Once you sign in, hover over your name you'll see a new menu choice below it: "Account activity."  Clicking on that link takes you to a page that lists the organizations and events you have added or whose pages you have edited. Clicking any of those links takes you to the current page of each.  In addition, you can change your password from this page.

The screenshot below shows what this page looks like for one user.  To navigate to your Account Activity page, sign in and hover over your name.

This page and functionality was added in response to a request from a user responsible for multiple organizations.  We will add features and functions to this page in the coming months.  If there is something you would like to see added, send us your suggestion

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