NEMA conference Hartford

The theme of the annual NEMA conference, this year to be held in Harford, is diversity: How well do we reflect the diversity in our communities.

For more information, see the NEMA site.

History Alliance offers three workshops

The History Alliance will host three workshops this fall

Feel free to bring lunch or not.  We will provide the space and facilitate the conversation. A speaker will present some key ideas, and a discussion will follow. Please call  298-3468 or send an e-mail to register.  The workshops are free to history organizations in the Housatonic Heritage Area.

·  How to get the funds to do your work
Our Fall 2010 fundraising workshop attracted a big crowd, and at our NEMA Primer in March, most of the participants identified fundraising as a topic they hoped to see on our workshop calendar.   So we are following up at the Sheffield Historical Society,   September 23, 1 p.m. Judith Monachina, with Barbara Dowling and Bob Salerno.

·  Web presence:  Websites and Social Marketing
Like fundraising, this popular topic may seem overwhelming.  But it is quite concrete, and therefore doable!  So in this workshop we will help you to get started and help you to develop a plan. Brent Colley presented this workshop for us last Fall, and this expanded version will be led by him too. At the Lenox Historical Society, 65 Main Street, Lenox, Mass. September 28, 1-2:30 p.m.  Brent Colley, Colley Web Service, Sharon, Conn.

·  Honing your mission to get the word out
Before you can decide how  to “talk” about your organization, you must figure out what you want to say.  Before you know what you should be saying, it helps to know who you are.
Sounds easy right? But this is the trickiest part of what we do.  What is your real mission?  Who are you really doing it for?
This workshop will be useful and fun: a casual discussion with some brainstorming. You may even walk away with a clear mission statement and a renewed enthusiasm for the task at hand!  To be held at the Sharon Historical Society, October 12, 1-2:30 p.m Leader: Cathy Fields, Director, Litchfield Historical Society .

For more information, e-mail: or call 413-298-3468.

Teachers learn paper making

Area teachers will have an opportunity to learn the basics of hand papermaking in a workshop designed especially for them, on Saturday, October 22, 1-5 p.m., in Dalton, Mass.  The workshop will be a part of a conference of the Friends of Dard Hunter, an international group of hand made paper enthusiasts. A $35 fee covers this workshop, and includes refreshments and materials.

Arrangements have been made with Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for professional development points for teachers.

This workshop is designed for teachers and others who work with students of all ages.  Lauren Shelton, a Vermont educator, will illustrate ways that hand papermaking can support learning for children of all ages and skill levels. The lecture will be followed by hands-on workshops where participants will prepare pulp, form sheets of paper, and make simple books, collages, and other things with handmade paper.

“Hand papermaking is a magnet, even for the most reluctant students. The transformation of materials is truly magical,” Shelton says. “The skills being developed line up nicely with learning standards, so it is easy for teachers to provide a link to their curriculum.

The fee for the one-half-day course is $35. For more information, contact Laurie Shelton at 802-658-2538

More information about the conference and related Pittsfield events, all being hosted by Crane & Company in Dalton, is here:

Housatonic Heritage is co-sponsoring this workshop as part of its effort to highlight the industrial heritage of the region.   Paper making was a mainstay of the local economy, beginning in 1801, when Zenas Crane set up his paper mill here in Dalton.  Samuel Church set up his first mill just a few years later in South Lee.  Paper mills at both sites are still running, though most of what was a thriving industry has left.   At the time of Crane and Church, almost the entire paper making process was done by hand.   More information about HH’s educational and industrial heritage programs can be found on its site:

Scholarships available for NEMA conference in Hartford

Connecticut Humanities Council and others are providing scholarships
for 2011 NEMA Annual Conference

This notice is from the Connecticut Humanities Council:
Has it been a while since you last attended a New England Museum Association (NEMA) Annual Conference? Are you new to the field and have never been to a NEMA conference?

The Connecticut Humanities Council (CHC) wants to help.

This year,  NEMA’s Annual Conference comes to Connecticut and takes place in Hartford from November 16-18, 2011, at the Hilton Hartford Hotel. To make sure that as many Connecticut museum professionals as possible can attend this fantastic professional development opportunity, the CHC is funding 10 scholarships to support full-conference registration expenses for paid staff members of Connecticut museums and historical societies.

Visit the Heritage Resource Center for full details and for information on how to apply.

The deadline to apply is September 16, 2011.

If you look on the NEMA site, you will see other scholarships available to professionals in Massachusetts as well:

Gt. Barrington Historical member publishes new book

Gary Leveille has published a new book, The Eye of Shawenon, a Berkshire History of North Egremont, Prospect Lake, and the Green River Valley.  Check here for details:
To contact the author:

Social Media, What is legal?

Social Media: What’s Legal-And What’s Not?

What?    Social Media: What’s Legal-And What’s Not? Webinar
Where?  Connecticut Humanities Council, Middletown, CT
When?   July 20, 2011 from 2:00-3:30 pm
Cost?     $15 per person

If you blog, post on Facebook, or google job applicants, this Webinar on Wednesday, July 20, 2011, people will discuss ways of limiting employer risk by understanding the privacy, discrimination and harassment issues that come with social networking.

This  Webinar will be led by employment attorney Pamela Fyfe who also co-authored the popular “Ask Rita in HR” column for  Blue Avocado. Should you google job applicants? Can you limit what employees say about your nonprofit on Facebook? Pamela will answer these questions and delve into best practices for nonprofit policies and procedures around social networking media.

Hosted by the  Connecticut Humanities Council (CHC) and the  Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO), the program will feature a group viewing of Blue Avocado and the  Nonprofit Insurance Alliance Group’s Legalities of Nonprofits and Social Media Webinar and a post-Webinar 30-minute discussion about the day’s content facilitated by Tammi Flynn, Director of Marketing at the  Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT, along with representatives from the CHC and CLHO director, Liz Shapiro.

The program is designed for organizations that are already using social media, or who have volunteers who use social media on behalf of the organization.

Seating is limited to 15 total participants.

Contact Melissa Diaz with questions: or 860-685-7583.

On the Other Side of Glory

Housatonic Heritage is hosting a big public event this Wednesday, June 22, at 5:30 p.m.: the inauguration of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment Trail.  The festivities will take place at Chesterwood in Stockbridge.  Here is a link to a WAMC interview with the co-author of On the Other Side of Glory, David Levinson, and HH Executive Director Dan Bolognani:

Member discussion

The History Alliance has added a new page to its site, a Member Discussion page.  Requiring a password, the discussion page will give people who have attended our workshops and conferences a chance to continue conversations long after the events have passed.  A participant in the March NEMA Save your Collections conference recommended it.  For membership information, contact Judith Monachina.  Automatic membership goes to anyone who has attended a Housatonic Heritage History Alliance conference or workshop. Others who work in history organizations such as historical societies and museums may also be eligible for membership and access to this discussion.

Off the Record: Telling Lives of People Hidden in Plain Sight

Mass Humanities offers its annual conference in Worcester

Off the Record: Telling Lives of People Hidden in Plain Sight
A Conference for Massachusetts History Organizationslogo
Presented by Mass Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Program in Public History, the Joseph P. Healey Library and the Public History Track at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Monday, June 6, 2011
9:00am – 4:00pm
Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester

The 2011 Massachusetts history conference takes as its theme historical programming (exhibits, tours, talks, websites, etc) featuring people who are not usually present in the collections of local history organizations: slaves, free Blacks, Native Americans, women (and men) who did not toe the line in some way, itinerants, recent immigrants, the poor, disabled, and ill.

More information on their site:

Training opportunities

Connecticut League of History Organization has announced two trainings:
Historic New England & George Washington University Training Opportunities

Historic New England presents Program in New England Studies

Boston – Historic New England presents Program in New England Studies, an intensive learning experience with lectures by curators and architectural historians, workshops, and behind-the-scenes tours of Historic New England’s house museums and collections, and other museums and homes in the region. The program is held from Monday, June 20 to Saturday, June 25.

Program in New England Studies examines New England history and material culture from the seventeenth century through the Colonial Revival and delves into building design and technology and the wide-ranging lifestyles illustrated by the historic sites on the itinerary.

Key program faculty include: Cary Carson, retired vice president of the research division at Colonial Williamsburg; Abbott Lowell Cummings, former director, Historic New England; J. Ritchie Garrison, director, Winterthur Program in Early American Material Culture; Brock Jobe, professor of decorative arts, Winterthur Program in Early American Culture; Jane C. Nylander, president emerita, Historic New England, and many more.

The $1,450 program fee includes all lectures, admissions, guided tours, transportation to and from special visits and excursions, etc. Three scholarships are available to mid-career museum professional and graduate students in the fields of architecture, decorative arts, material culture, or public history.

For more information, contact Joanne Flaherty at 617-994-6629 or visit Historic New England for the Full Program Schedule.

The George Washington University’s Distance Education Graduate Certificate Program in Museum Collections Management and Care is accepting applications for fall 2011

The graduate certificate consists of 4 courses and is earned completely online. It is designed for those working or volunteering in museums with collections management responsibilities. The courses are ideal for museum professionals either lacking prior formal museum studies training or desiring a refresher.

For more information, please visit our website at or contact Mary Coughlin at

Liz Shapiro, Interim Director
Sandy Elgee, Administrator