August 8, 2012

New section: Resources for organizations

Updated: August 19, 2012: The new section has three case studies, information on grants to support maritime heritage tourism, and details on a free multi-part webinar series on heritage tourism that begins September 20.

A new section, Resources for Organizations, contains the case studies that appeared in previous posts, and it will be the home of all future case studies as well as other resources for history-related organizations of all types and sizes.

The link to the section is in the footer.

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July 27, 2012

The five critical questions to answer when considering a new fundraising event

Considering a new fundraising event event for your historical society, museum, historic site, or preservation organization? These the five critical questions to answer first:

1. Is the event consistent with our mission? Better still: Does it help us increase awareness of our organization and our mission iThe Harvard Historiccal Society's Shaker Village House Tourn our community and beyond?  The event whose poster is shown here is a perfect example of just such an event.

2. Can we make money this year? Better still: Does it give us the highest ROI on our time and money invested?

3. Can we make money in future years? Better still: Can we create a signature event, one that we can do year after year and that draws more and more people from our community and beyond--an event where we "own" this same day/weekend/week every year? If so, your ROI next year is likely to grow as the publicity and word-of-mouth from this year bring more attendees, volunteers, and sponsors from your community and beyond.  (In the case of the Shaker Village House Tour, the listing explains that it's a "once in a lifetime" opportunity, so while they won't be doing this again next year, they'll surely have more people for this one-time-only event.)

The well-worn adage, "Nothing succeeds like success," is certainly true when it comes to events. Take a chance, work hard--perhaps even struggle along the way--and once your event is live and people are lining up at the door, you'll start hearing, "Are you planning to do this next year? Are you looking for volunteers? How do I become a sponsor?" These people understand now what you've been trying to get them to imagine. They see it working and know that they'll be supporting a good cause. They can join their friends in volunteering and attending. Sponsors want to reach the people you're attracting and show that they support an important institution in their community. And inside of that new sponsor organization there are decision makers who now know that sponsoring isn't a risk.  They're not sticking their neck out and taking a chance that the event will fail and their decision to sponsor called in to question.

4. Can we afford it financially? Do we have the physical resources? And if we don't, can we borrow, rent, or buy what we need at a price we can afford to get this off the ground? Closely related: Can we afford it if it doesn't go as well as we're planning? Do we have sufficient insurance to protect our board and institution if someone is hurt? And how do we minimize the chance that something like would ever happen?

5. Can we afford the time? Just as one allocates money, allocating the time of board, staff, and volunteers is an important consideration. And in the case of volunteers, if they say "yes" to helping out with your new event, will they be willing to volunteer for other efforts you have planned?

One way to mitigate the impact on volunteers is by taking advantage of technologies that lower the time required to plan, publicize, and produce the event.  The History List is one of the free tools you can use to increase awareness of your event.  Adding an event only takes a few minutes.  It's cut-and-paste simple, and anyone--staff, interns, volunteers--can add or edit, so you don't need to worry about setting up and sharing one account.  Give them this one page guide and they'll have everything they need to add your event to The History List.

A final note: The next time you attend, say, the "37th annual . . ." and wish that only your organization had such a big, successful event drawing people from throughout the region, remember that at least 38 years ago a few committed, hard-working folks debated the idea for a new event for that organization.  Whether they walked in with the vision or were skeptical when they first heard it described, by the time the meeting wrapped up they were all committed to bringing to life this new thing that they'd never done and had no assurance would be a success.

Good luck as you and your colleagues create your next event.

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July 25, 2012

New feature: Add video to your listings

You can now add video to the descriptions of your events, exhibits, sites, museums, and organizations.  Here's how Old Sturbridge Village is using it to bring to life their annual Redcoats & Rebels weekend, the largest Revolutionary War reenactment in New England.

To embed video content from YouTube or Vimeo, or content from other media hosting sites, such as Scribd (document hosting) or Flickr (photo-sharing), click on the new "Source" button, as shown in this screenshot, and paste in the embed code provided by the site hosting the content.  (In the case of Flickr, you can use one of the handy viewer widgets, such as the free PictoBrowser.)

An example of where to find the embed code is at the bottom of this post.

Embed hosted content in your listing by clicking on the Source button



The partial screenshot below shows the code to embed a YouTube video.  The other hosted media sites are similar.  Look for a "Share" or "Embed" button.


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July 11, 2012

The 2012 Leadership in History Awards from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

Updated: July 20, 2013: The 2013 list of winners, with links to organizations and projects.

Updated: September 25, 2012: Links to resources added.  If you have changes or suggestions for other links, add a comment below.

Also, add your history-related organization or site or event or exhibit to The History List.  (This one page guide gives you a quick snapshot of The History List.)

Congratulations to this year's award recipients, who will be recognized at the AASLH Leadership in History Awards Banquet on October 5 during the 2012 AASLH Annual Conference in Salt Lake City.

Award of Distinction

Dr. Robert Archibald (video of 2010 address)

The Albert B. Corey Award

Babcock-Smith House Museum, Westerly, RI


Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Troup County Historical Society, and Anthony Gene Carey 
for the publication Sold Down the River: Slavery in the Lower Chattahoochee River Valley of Alabama and Georgia


Arizona State Museum 
for the exhibit Many Mexicos: Vistas de la Frontera (video news program on exhibit)


Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park
 for the Antelope Valley Indian Museum Structural and Environmental Controls Project

Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation and Heyday Books 
for the publication Rancho Los Alamitos-Ever Changing, Always the Same


Gunn Memorial Museum
 for the project Letters from the Battlefield: Stories of Washington’s Civil War Soldiers

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center 
for the program Harriet Beecher Stowe: Inspiring Action for 200 Years

The Litchfield Historical Society for the online database The Ledger

Washington, D.C. 

Woodrow Wilson House
 for the exhibit Woodrow Wilson, President Electric: Harnessing the Power of Innovation in the Progressive Era


Atlanta History Center 
for the school program The Price of Freedom: Causes and Consequences of the Civil War

John C. Inscoe 
for the publication The Civil War in Georgia: a New Georgia Encyclopedia Companion

Georgia Southern University, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
for the Camp Lawton Archaeological Project


Lila Hill
 for her tireless dedication to documenting and preserving the history of Meridian, ID

Mary E. Reed 
for thirty years of preserving and interpreting Idaho history


Salisbury House and Gardens
 for the Salisbury House Interior Restoration Project


Conner Prairie Interactive History Park 
for the exhibit 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana


Abbe Museum 
for the exhibit Indians and Rusticators: Wabanakis and Summer Visitors on Mount Desert Island 1840s-1920s

Bangor Museum and History Center and Bangor High School for Exploring Historic Landscapes Using GIS: The Great Bangor Fire of 1911  Also the recipient of a History in Progress Award.


Boston Public Library 
for the project 150th Anniversary of the Civil War: A City-Wide Commemoration of History

Historic New England 
for the preservation of the Beauport, Sleeper-McCann House ("Nooks and Crannies" event takes place here.)

Jean Foley Doyle
 for a lifetime of preserving and promoting the history of 20th-century Newburyport

Preservation Worcester for the project By the Canal

The Trustees of Reservations 
for the project Elizabeth Freeman: A Story of Courage


Detroit Historical Society for the website Building Detroit

Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society
 for the publication The Village Table: A Delicious History of Food in the Saugatuck- Douglas Area


Anton Treuer 
for the publication The Assassination of Hole in the Day (book review)

Minnesota Landmarks, Inc. and Minnesota Historical Society for the Uncle Sam’s New Deal Traveling Exhibit


Lindenwood University and Jeffrey Smith for the publication The Confluence

Missouri History Museum 
for the publication Captain Joseph Boyce and the 1st Missouri Infantry, C.S.A.

Missouri History Museum
 for the multimedia exhibition Kirkwood Roots

U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, Jean Svadlenak, and Svadlenak Museum Consulting
 for exhibit Americans by Choice: The Story of Immigration and Citizenship in Kansas with The American Dream: In Their Own Words

Barbara Decker, The Campbell House Museum, The Griot Museum of Black History, The Eugene Field House, and the education group: Jeff Kopolow, Carlene Fullerton, Jean Turney, and Sue Hegarty
 for the Urban Museum Collaborative


Montana Historical Society and Montana Office of Public Instruction Indian Education for All 
for Best Practices in Museum Education: Museums and Schools as Co-Educators (blog post)

New Hampshire

Canterbury Historical Society
 for the Canterbury One-Room Schoolhouse program

New York

Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG92
 for the development of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG92

New-York Historical Society Museum and Library 
for excellence in telling the story of the history of New York City

The Olana Partnership 
for the Olana Viewshed Symposium

North Carolina

North Carolina Museum of History for the exhibit The Story of North Carolina

Betty Jamerson Reed
 for the publication School Segregation in Western North Carolina, 1860s-1970s


The Durham Museum
 for their Distance Learning Initiative


Massillon Museum
 for the project Faces of Rural America

Ohio Historical Society 
for the exhibit Controversy: Pieces You Don’t Normally See

Ohio Historical Society
 for the Ohio as America Online 4th Grade Textbook

Ohio Historical Society and Partners 
for the Ohio History Service Corps-AmeriCorps Program


Cultural Resources Department, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill
 for the exhibit Grand Ronde’s Canoe Journey

South Dakota

Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center
 for the development of the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center

Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society for the exhibit Our South Dakota: Big Land/Big Ideas/Big Heart

The World War II Pheasant Canteen Team 
for The World War II Pheasant Canteen Team (video). Also the recipient of a History in Progress Award.


Buck Kahler and Chris Albrecht
 for the documentary The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin


Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation for Texas Women’s History for Texas Women’s History Moments: a One-Month Radio Series


Donald L. Enders 
for fifty years of researching and restoring historic sites for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


Humanities Council and Utah Museums Association for the Museum Interpretation Initiative: Telling Our Stories


Vermont Historical Society
 for the project Vermont History Explorer

Vermont Historical Society and Donald H. Wickman 
for the publication A Very Fine Appearance: The Vermont Civil War Photographs of George Houghton


Bainbridge Island Historical Museum 
for excellence in preserving and sharing the history of Bainbridge Island

Dr. Lorraine McConaghy 
for the publication New Land, North of the Columbia

Washington State Department of Transportation 
for the exhibit Milepost 31
.  Also the recipient of a History in Progress Award.


Wisconsin Historical Society Press 
for the publication People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942

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July 1, 2012

Planning your visit to Boston Harborfest 2012, OpSail, and the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 celebrations

The handout below is available from the National Park Service's tent in the Charlestown Navy Yard, but it's most useful if you have access to it in advance so you can plan your trip.

You'll find detailed information on The History List about the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and Boston Harborfest 2012, including maps, information about visiting the tall ships and the other ships that have come in as a part of OpSail, as well as information on special events throughout the week.

Boston Harborfest and Bicentennial of the War of 1812--Charlestown Navy Yard map and hours for visiting the...

To print this out, click on the Download button immediately above and print out the copy that's downloaded to your PC.

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