2017 Mass History Conference Detailed Program

Igniting a Passion for History – June 12 – Worcester

This year the Mass History Conference features the dual highlights of exploring how to ignite a passion for history among our public, as well as launching the Mass History Alliance, a new endeavor to support and advocate for all public history organizations and their work in Massachusetts. Public historians are responsible for igniting a passion for history and consciousness of the past, and fostering public dialogue. This year’s conference will showcase the ways that public history organizations and institutions large and small inspire and engage audiences and constituencies.   Register

| Presentor Profiles |

8:30 AM -9:30 AM
Lobby

Registration, Continental Breakfast, & Networking

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Room 328

Mass History Commons

A place to exchange ideas and conversation, and to showcase your organization, projects, and products.

9:30-9:45 AM
Ballroom

Welcome

Bay State Legacy Award

  • Chuck Arning, Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park

Massachusetts History Commendation

9:45-10:45 AM
Ballroom

Keynote Address

Liz Ševčenko, Director, Humanities Action Lab

10:45-11:00 AM

Break

11-12:15 PM

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Ballroom

BRAVE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY

Conversations with visitors about potentially controversial topics can be difficult, but by shifting your focus from difficult conversations to brave conversations, you can open new avenues to deeper understanding. Learn strategies for frontline staff to use when engaging in brave conversations about race, gender, and sexuality, giving up cherished ideas for more accurate interpretation. Join us as leaders from three organizations discussing strategies/case studies for interpreting race, sexuality and gender in history museums.

Presenters:
Shannon Burke, Director of Education & Visitor Services
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
Elon Cook, Director, Robbins House
Ken Turino, Manager of Community Engagement and Exhibitions, Historic New England

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SPARKING KIDS’ LOVE OF HISTORY

Presenters from a preservation organization and regional high school will lead a discussion about their innovative educational partnerships that use place-based learning, esp. history-centered, to create resilient and sustainable communities, while sparking a love of history in a younger generation.

Presenters:
Susan Ceccacci, Education Director, Preservation Worcester – New City Dreams;
Elaine Smollin, Preservation Worcester – New City Dreams;
Virginia Troutman, Art Educator, Somerset Berkley Regional High School – Somerset, Massachusetts, Portrait of an American Experience in a New England Town

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ADVOCACY 101

New to advocacy? Want to learn how to represent your organization on the local, state, and even national level? Join expert Matt Wilson of MASSCreative for this informative “how to” session which will provide the basics to start you on your way to successfully advocating for your cause.

Presenter:
Matt Wilson, Executive Director, MASSCreative

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ENGAGING NEW AUDIENCES THROUGH PROGRAMMING

Faced with the challenge of reaching new audiences? Looking for inspiration? Do pop-up museums, online projects working with immigrants, and the chance to go from no programs to programs for multiple audiences in just a few short years sound intriguing? If so, join us as presenters from historical societies and historic sites discuss their rationale for and process of developing and implementing programs to engage new audiences.

Presenters:
Susan Navarre, Executive Director, Fitchburg Historical Society
Lynn Smith, Treasurer, Keith Park Neighborhood Association
Erin Yuskaitis, Director of Education, Old North Church & Historic Site

Room ###

HARNESSING HISTORY:
CREATING COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR HISTORY ORGANIZATIONS

Want to create support and buy-in with your community for your organization and for your work of history, focusing on the practical support: motivating people to get involved and do the work (curating/archiving, board, fundraising, PR)? Then our panel of experts may have just the solution for you! From demonstrating how to develop productive relationships with other local organizations and town departments, to using grants to revive a “moribund” organization, and learning the trials and successes of a new director, the panel will discuss how to get the hands-on help you need.

Presenters:
Kathie Gow, Curator, Hatfield Historical Museum
Gloria Greis, Executive Director, Needham Historical Society
Erin McGough, Executive Director, The Duxbury Rural & Historical Society

11-12:15 PM
WORKSHOP

(Space is limited. Pre-registration required.)
Room ###

COLLABORATIVE CREATIVITY:
WHAT ART AND DESIGN CAN TEACH HISTORIANS ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER WORKSHOP

[WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL]

How can art and design-based approaches to the production of new knowledge inform historical research? What can these disciplines teach us about deep and meaningful collaboration in the “digital age?” This workshop will draw on the facilitator’s fifteen years of work in digital history, prior experiments in radical collaboration, and engagement with design thinking methodologies to help attendees imagine new pathways for collaborative creativity.

Presenter: 
Tom Scheinfeldt, Associate Professor of Digital Media and Design and Director of Digital Humanities in the Digital Media Center, University of Connecticut

12:15 – 1:30 PM
Ballroom

Lunch Buffet (vegetarian option available)

12:45 – 1:15 PM
Ballroom

Launch of Mass History Alliance

1:30 – 2:15 PM
Ballroom

MASHups – Topics to be generated and selected by conference attendees at the conference.

What is the new Mass History Alliance all about? What’s on the table? What do you want to put on the table? Informational and rap session focused on the Mass History Alliance and advocacy to the field, the statehouse, our towns, the public. Collaborate to achieve!

Hosted by the MHA Advocacy Committee

2:00 – 5:00 PM
WORKSHOP
(Space is limited. Pre-registration required.)
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INTERPRETING SLAVERY IN MASSACHUSETTS WORKSHOP

Join leaders in the re-interpretation of slavery in Massachusetts as they discuss how to talk about slavery, race, and presenting an accurate interpretation of a topic that has been hidden from public view for many decades.

Presenters:
Elon Cook, Director, Robbins House
Penny Outlaw, Co-President, Royall House & Slave Quarters

2:15 – 2:30 PM

Break

2:30 – 3:45 PM
WORKSHOP
(Space is limited. Pre-registration required.)
Room ###

DIGITAL STORYTELLING:
TAKING THE NEXT STEP WITH YOUR ONLINE COLLECTIONS WORKSHOP

[WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL]
Hosted by Digital Commonwealth

If your institution is looking for ways to highlight and contextualize your digital collections, but you aren’t sure where to start, then this seminar is for you. Join representatives from Digital Commonwealth and the Boston Public Library in this practical two-hour seminar that will cover: 1. The importance of adding context to your online collections; 2. The nuts and bolts of creating digital exhibits; 3. Examples of free and easy-to-use digital exhibit platforms (Omeka, History Pin, and Knightlab apps)

Presenters:
Julia Howington, University Archivist, Suffolk University; Executive Board member, Digital Commonwealth
Nancy Kelleher, Associate Director of Public Affairs/Managing Editor for News, Suffolk University
Nichole Shea, Statewide Metadata Coordinator, Boston Public Library

2:30 – 3:45 PM

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Room ###

MARKETING AND AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

Local expert Lee Wright, known for his founding of History Camp and The History List, shares how conference attendees can work with their organization to broaden their audience using marketing and audience development techniques.

Presenter:
Lee Wright, Founder, History Camp and The History List

Room ###

THE CIVIL WAR LETTERS OF WELLESLEY COLLEGE AND BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY

Civil War Letters of Wellesley College and Brandeis University project (funded by a Civil War Preservation Grant from the Massachusetts Sesquicentennial Commission of the American Civil War) digitized, transcribed, and made available online almost 450 hundred Civil War letters held by Brandeis University and Wellesley College. The project idea was born as a collaboration between the two academic institutions, both members of the Boston Library Consortium, with the intention of creating an openly available online academic resource to reach students, scholars, and researchers interested in exploring the voices of those who were deeply involved in the Civil War. This website presents several paths to that exploration, from lesson plans and timelines to maps and voice recordings. Join us as we discuss various aspects of this project, planning and design, digitization and transcription, online exhibiting, the development of educational tools, and the academic symposium. The project website can be found here: http://omeka.wellesley.edu/civilwarletters/

Presenters:
Jenifer Bartle, Digital Library Services Librarian, Wellesley College
Mariana Oller, Associate Curator of Special Collections, Wellesley College
Surella Seelig, Archives & Special Collections Outreach Librarian, Brandeis University

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DECLARING INDEPENDENCE – THEN AND NOW:
BRINGING HISTORY TO LIFE THROUGH PUBLIC PERFORMANCE

Declaring Independence is a 40-minute public performance piece in which a narrator and six costumed re-enact0rs bring to life our nations “sacred scripture.” The program uses primary source material from Massachusetts towns – town debates and resolves, local declarations of rights and liberties —  that reveals how individuals within their communities debated and responded to the Declaration of Independence.

Presenters:
Mary Fuhrer, Historian, Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area
Linda Greene, Educator, Old North Church
Jim Moran, Vice President for Programs and Outreach, American Antiquarian Society

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SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS: WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

What are Community Conversations and how do they work? What questions and issues do they take on and what convinces community members to show up and engage issues that concern us in our towns? What are the pitfalls that we need to pay attention to? Hear from two organizations that have hosted successful series, and engage in a dialogue about the practicalities of creating an active role for historical organizations in our communities’ well-being.

Presenters:
Ana Nuncio, Manager of Settlement Partnerships, The House of the Seven Gables
Marieke VanDamme, Executive Director, Cambridge Historical Society

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SHARING HISTORY THROUGH BLOGGING AND PODCASTS

Interested in trying your hand at blogging and podcasting about history? Ed O’Donnell, host of In the Past Lane, will show conference attendees how they can broaden their audience through digital communication.

Presenter:
Edward O’Donnell, Associate Professor of History, College of the Holy Cross; In the Past Lane podcast

3:45 – 4:00 PM

Break

4:00 – 5:15 PM

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

WORKSHOP
(Space is limited. Pre-registration required.)
Room ###

PERSONAL DIGITAL ARCHIVING: TRAIN THE TRAINER WORKSHOP

Through funding from the National Historical Records and Publication Commission (NHPRC), the MA SHRAB will be holding a Personal Digital Archiving: Train the Trainer workshop. The goal of this workshop is to provide your institution with the tools and expertise to host your own personal digital archiving workshop in your community. This course is based on the workshop developed by the Society of Georgia Archivists, the Atlanta chapter of ARMA International, and the Georgia Library Association and on materials developed by the Council of State Archivists, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives and Records Administration. Topics covered in these workshops include: identifying and inventorying personal records; born-digital vs. digitized records; Personal digital records ecosystem; Rights, security and privacy; Storage and access; and Considerations for the future.

Presenter:
Veronica Martzahl, Digital Records Archivist, Massachusetts Archives

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GROUP READ OF NINA SIMON’S THE ART OF RELEVANCE

Hosted by The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association
What do the London Science Museum, New World Symphony, and the National Park Service have in common? They are all fighting for relevance in an often-indifferent world. Nina Simon’s Art of Relevance explores how mission-driven organizations can matter more to more people. The book is packed with inspiring examples, rags-to-relevance case studies, research-based frameworks, and practical advice on how your work can be more vital to your community. We invite you to read The Art of Relevance, then join us for a group discussion about the book and how our organizations can be more relevant to our ever-changing communities!

Moderator:
Julie Arrison-Bishop, Special Projects Manager, The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association

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CREATING REGIONAL HISTORY NETWORKS

There is life beyond your town borders – join leaders from the Pioneer Valley History Network and Freedom’s Way National Heritage area to learn how to develop, nourish, and sustain regional networks of history organizations.

Presenters:
Cliff McCarthy, President, Pioneer Valley History Network
Patrice Todisco, Executive Director, Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area

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BACK TO THE FUTURE: DIGITAL TOOLS FOR OLD MAPS

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (LMC) provides stewardship to the Boston Public Library’s collection of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases ranging in date from 1482 to the present. Central to its mission, the LMC strives to spark curiosity about geography, history, and the world. Their soon-to-be launched digital collections harness geospatial developments to engage researchers, educators, and general-public library users interested in maps. The digital collection can be searched either textually or spatially using a modern basemap, georeferenced and annotated, and exported for use in more advanced GIS technologies. Educators can create new or adapt existing sets of maps for use in their classrooms, and LMC staff can more easily create online exhibitions. The project utilizes several open-source projects to enhance digital discoverability and use and the resulting code base combining these developments is freely available so that it can be adapted and used further by other organizations.

Presenters:
Michelle LeBlanc, Director of Education, Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Boston Public Library
Evan Thornberry, Reference and Geospatial Librarian, Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Boston Public Library

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MUCH ANTICIPATED ANNIVERSARIES: HARD WORK AHEAD

A panel of planners will take participants through the opportunities and challenges, the visions and the divisions involved in working with multiple partners on major projects to recognize some of the big anniversaries coming up in the Bay State. Listen to their stories, learn from their experiences, and share your own insights about the practice of collaboration and the realities and rewards of collegiality.

Presenters:
Robert Allison, Professor of History, Suffolk University
Peter Drummey, Stephen T. Riley Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society
Allison Lange, Assistant Professor of History, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Nat Sheidley, Historian and Director of Public History, The Bostonian Society
Margaret Sullivan, Records Manager & Archivist, Boston Police Department