2018 Mass History Conference Detailed Program

People’s History ↔ Local History – June 4 – Worcester

Our history organizations face the task preserving and presenting “the” history of forever more rapidly changing communities and contexts. The conference offers peer sessions, workshop, and networking opportunities to explore and learn about new ways and new communities in public history, and the roles historical organizations do and can play to become part of the social dialogue: program diversity, collaborative approaches to exhibit and program building, finding common grounds between technology, art, and history to enrich all, a broad focus on the community of communities — the process of people coming together in one place as they move from town to town and around the world.

| Presentor Profiles |

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8:30 AM-9:30 AM

Registration

8:30 AM-9:30 AM

Continental Breakfast & Networking

9:00-5:00 PM

Mass History Commons

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

9:30-9:45 AM

Welcome

9:45-10:45 AM

Keynote Address:

Franklin OdoAmherst College, editor of the new Asian American Pacific Islander, National Historic Landmarks Theme Study of the National Park Service

10:45-11:00 AM

Break

11-12:15 PM

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

OPEN MEETING AND INFORMATION SESSION OF THE MASS HISTORY ALLIANCE
Join the board and committees of the Mass History Alliance in an open conversation about current topics. Here’s your chance to ask questions and put in your two cents. Topics: advocacy, the new website, the upcoming board election, next year’s conference, current issues. All are welcome.
MHA Board:
Pleun Bouricius (president), Plainfield Historical Society
Patty Bruttomesso (treasurer), Mass Humanities
Robert Forrant (director), Lawrence History Center
Cliff McCarthy (director), Pioneer Valley History Network, Stone House Museum
Joanne Riley (clerk), Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston
AUDIENCE-CENTERED LEARNING: CREATIVE APPROACHES IN HISTORY MUSEUMS
What does it look like when programs focus on “student-centered” or “experiential” learning? Melding arts and history, Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis of Old North Church & Historic Site will lead participants in Visual Thinking Strategies, a teaching methodology that focuses on building observation and communication skills through visual literacy. Then, Susan Diachisin and Kristin Gallas of the Tsongas Industrial History Center will walk participants through the process of defining student-centered learning for their organization – a dynamic and inclusive process that helps sites take stock of the methodologies and strategies they use to improve the program development process and create assessment tools. Join in this highly participatory session and leave with tools that will inspire your staff and visitors to look at history in creative new ways.
Presenters:
Susan Diachisin, Tsongas Industrial History Center
Kristin Gallas, Tsongas Industrial History Center
Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis, Old North Church & Historic Site
WHAT IS STORYTELLING AND WHAT IS ORAL HISTORY?
Storytelling is all the rage in our culture today. Many historical organizations want to collect stories from community members for a variety of reasons—community engagement, public programming, exhibition development, archival documentation or because they are seeking other goals entirely. However, few small or medium museums are set up to either coordinate scholarly oral history projects or transcribe and archive the document that is generated. In this roundtable, three practitioners from the field will share their experiences with “storytelling /story collecting alternatives” to oral history and reflect on the community history goals that are served through different types of projects. Iohann Rashi Vega, produces a podcast called Radioplasma and has done broadcasting work with a variety of communities in Holyoke. Joanna Shea O’Brien was part of a team of interviewers who collected stories in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
Presenters:
Joanna Shea O’Brien, Our Marathon WBUR Oral History Project
Anne Valk, Williams College
Iohann Rashi Vega, Radioplasma
COLLECTING UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES
Join our panelist to learn how history organizations are working with their communities to enhance their collections so these collections more accurately reflect their constituent communities. Hear how Lawrence History Center’s outreach efforts, despite socioeconomic challenges and language barriers, are bolstering its immigrant community’s interest in and passion for their new city’s history. Discover how the Puerto Rican Community in Holyoke has paired with community partners, colleges, and institutions to develop a plan to collect and archive their community histories. Learn about best practices in establishing relationships, mutual support, and funding challenges. We will showcase current inclusive programming created to weave in Puerto Rican history as part of the city’s post-industrial history.
Moderator:
Penni Martorell, Wistariahurst
Presenters:
Maria Salgado-Cartagena, Hampshire College
Amita Kiley, Lawrence History Center
DISABILITY HISTORY PANEL
Join a panel of disability historians who have used archival materials to explore current topics in disability history, including how 19th-century Sunday school books taught virtue using stories of abolition and care for the “afflicted”; how kindergarten for the blind reflected education trends in Progressive Era Boston; and how WWII conscientious objectors who served in mental hospitals and training schools made possible a crucial turning point in the process of delegitimizing eugenics.
Presenters:
Jennifer Arnott, Research Librarian, Perkins School for the Blind
Laurie Block, Disability History Museum
Dr. Graham Warder, Assistant Professor, History Department, Keene State College
Laura Wasowicz, Curator of Children’s Literature, and Cataloger, North American Imprints Program, American Antiquarian Society
HISTORY AND ART INTERSECT
Art and history intersect to produce interesting potential for expanding audiences. From larger museums, to smaller historic houses, historic sites, to libraries/literature, visual & performing arts, and more, ArtWeek is exploding in small towns and urban centers alike, illustrating the renewed power of collaboration, partnerships, and creativity. Learn how history organizations are drawing upon ArtWeek, Artist-in-Residence programs, and collaborations with contemporary curators and/or contemporary art spaces to expand their outreach to new segments of their communities. Bitetti will be speaking about her long term artist residency at the Quincy Historical Society and will present examples of her history-based work both as an artist and as a curator.
Presenters:
Sue Dahling Sullivan, Chief Strategic Officer, Boch Center
Kathleen Bitetti, Artist, Independent Curator, and Policy/Advocacy expert
12:15-1:30 PM

Bay State Legacy Award – Ralmon Black (posthumously)
&
Lunch Buffet (vegetarian option available)

1:30-2:15 PM SHARING AND NETWORKING
Shorter sessions in which conference participants share what they are working on, find out about collaborative statewide or national programs or projects, learn a skill, or do some speed dating. Have a great idea, think everyone should hear one particular speaker, or share a project? After you register, you will have the opportunity to express preferences and send your input for these sessions, and six will be chosen. Signup for a 5 minute project showcase session will happen in advance and at the conference.
2:30-4:30 PM
(registration required)
WORKSHOP: ORAL HISTORY IN MULTILINGUAL COMMUNITIES
Mark will share examples from his personal experience conducting the Nosotros, el pueblo oral history project. The two-hour workshop will blend lecture and demonstration with interactive engagement and Q&A, addressing how to develop a working relationship with a community beyond one’s personal “bubble,” developing culturally sensitive and appropriate questions in conjunction with the community, and how to identify interviewees and cultivate multilingual interviewers. Mark will provide practical resources that he has used to develop this robust multilingual oral history program and reflections on successes and challenges of the evolving collaboration.
Presenter:
Mark Cutler, Lawrence History Center and Phillips Academy in Andover
2:30-3:45 PM

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

A CLASS ACT: A SHOWCASE OF COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT-FUNDED PROJECTS
Community preservation includes history. The session will feature a first-hand discussion of a variety of historical preservation, records inventory and preservation, and historical assessment projects funded though the Community Preservation Act across the Commonwealth. Learn more about the Act and how it works, and how it plays out in real life. Hosted by the Mass History Alliance Advocacy Committee.
Moderator:
Cliff McCarthy, Mass History Alliance, Pioneer Valley History Network, Stone House Museum
Presenter:
Marianne Curling, Consulting Curator, Amherst Historical Society
Elizabeth Sharpe, Co-Executive Director, Historic Northampton
LESSONS FROM DEACCESSIONING
We talk a lot about the ethics of deaccessioning on the one hand and the need for it on the other, but putting it into practice can be daunting. Looking to avoid the pitfalls that can come with deaccessioning? Join our panelists as they describe how their experiences turned into useful exercises in collections management and donor/community relations. Learn the ins and outs of the process from an expert. Then explore how to help donors understand the need for deaccessioning and maintain good relations with them as part of managing public relations.
Presenters:
Gloria Greis, Needham Historical Society
Todd Smith, consultant
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT THROUGH ORAL HISTORY
Learn how to develop and sustain an oral history project featuring community engagement. Join our panelists as they share their lessons learned from their projects: Worcester Women’s Oral History Project and five local organizations worked with the local immigrant population to collect and share the stories of recent Worcester women immigrants. Through the Newton Talks oral history project developed by Historic Newton in conjunction with the Newton Senior Center and the Newton Free Library, has interviewed more than 30 military veterans and immigrants with ties to Newton. Bring your ideas and questions!
Presenters:
Maureen Ryan Doyle, Worcester Women’s Oral History Project
Charlene Martin, Worcester Women’s Oral History Project
Clara Silverstein, Historic Newton
SELECTING FOR DIGITIZATION: LEGAL AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS**
Copyright, federal and state laws, and ethical concerns can all complicate the desire to make materials accessible online. Panelists will discuss the legal and ethical considerations organizations face as they select items for digitization and online access.
Moderator:
Chris Tanguay, Archives Collections Associate, MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections
Presenters:
Jen Hale, Archivist, Perkins School for the Blind
Katie Zimmerman, Scholarly Communications and Licensing Librarian, MIT
SELF-GUIDED TOURS: TO APP OR NOT TO APP?
Self-guided tour apps are coming into their own — as are expensive ways to create them. Does it even make sense to go that route? Web-based or App-based? Off the shelf or custom? What does it cost? Are they used? PS, QR-Code, what? The session features experiences with two affordable options for self-guided (walking) tours. The discussion will focus on conversation that leads to unearthing the issues that play in choosing and using digital platforms and apps for self-guided tours.
Hosted by Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area
Moderator:
Patrice Todisco, Executive Director, Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area
Presenters:
Creating a tour with CLIO, Cheryl Harned, UMass Amherst
Creating a tour with Uniguide, Daniel Marshall, The House of the Seven Gables
3:45-4:00 PM

Break with refreshments

4:00-5:15 PM

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR SMALL HISTORICAL ORGANIZATIONS In a roundtable, representatives of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC), the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB), and Mass Humanities (MH) will briefly present grant programs that are particularly interesting for historical organizations, followed by a short discussion. Come and get some brochures and get your questions answered. Links to their grant programs can be found on the conference site.
Moderator:
Pleun Bouricius, Massachusetts History Alliance
Presenters:
Ross Dekle, Massachusetts Historical Commission
Susan Grabski, MA State Historical Records Advisory Board
Greg Liakos, Massachusetts Cultural Council
Rose Sackey-Milligan, Mass Humanities
COLLABORATION IS KEY: THE BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF CREATING PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN LOCAL HISTORY ORGANIZATIONS AND GRADUATE PROGRAMS
Partnerships between graduate programs and local history organizations face many challenges: time, money, and the occasionally harsh line between academia and the public. This roundtable discussion will offer examples of innovative collaborations that work to overcome those challenges and provide new opportunities and lasting benefits for both the organization, the students, and the program. The roundtable is open to questions from all so please bring your ideas and experiences to discuss.
Moderator:
Margo Shea, Salem State University
Presenters:
Sarah Black, UMass Boston, Dorchester History Initiative
Ben Gammell, Connecticut Historical Society
Caroline Littlewood, UMass Boston, Dorchester History Initiative
Molly Mahoney, UMass Lowell
Penni Martorell, Wistariahurst Museum
Kady Phelps, UMass Lowell
Erika Slocumb, , UMass Amherst, Black Holyoke Project
USING THE COMMONWEALTH HISTORICAL COLLABORATIVE TO SHARE YOUR COLLECTION INFORMATION ONLINE FOR FREE
Much of Massachusetts history resides in small and separate archives. But how do we let the community know what we have? If you’re wondering about putting information about your collections online in a place where it can be found by anyone, the Commonwealth Historical Collaborative is a good place to start. It provides a single point of access for all institutions in Massachusetts that care for historical materials such as family letters and papers, business records, shop ledgers, photographs, ephemera, and so much more. You can add however much or little as you wish to this online collection-level catalog, ranging from a simple paragraph description of your holdings, to the highlights of your collection, to your entire catalog. It is all free. In this session, we will show you how to sign up, explore the basics of the CHC site, and walk you through the mysteries of getting your shingle out.
Presenter:
Rob Cox, Head, Special Collections, UMass Amherst Libraries
4:00-5:15 PM

WORKSHOP

(registration required – Sorry FULL)

WORKSHOP:

PERSONAL DIGITAL ARCHIVING: TRAIN THE TRAINER** – FULL

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 workshop will be facilitated by Veronica Martzahl, Digital Records Archivist at the Massachusetts Archives. 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
  • Considerations for the future

Presenter:
Veronica Martzahl, Digital Records Archivist, Massachusetts Archives

** indicates sessions available to afternoon MA SHRAB registrants