Connecticut Collections Info Session and Q and A

You are invited to the following CLHO program:

Connecticut Collections Info Session and Q&A

When: Friday, August 20, 2021 11:00 AM, EDT
Where: Zoom
Connecticut Collections logo

Learn more about Connecticut Collections, an open-source collections management system based on Collective Access software that allows Connecticut collecting institutions to organize, manage, share, and preserve their collections digitally. See whether this collaborative database is a good fit for your organization and find out more about the process of joining the collaborative. CLHO staff will offer an overview of the project, give a peek under the hood, and answer your questions.

If you’re in the market for a collections management system designed with the needs of small and mid-sized history organizations in mind, then Connecticut Collections could be right for you. Connecticut Collections has all the robust features of an industry-standard CMS, including:

  • a cloud-based interface that runs in your web browser
  • the capability to manage your collections on-site, from home, or wherever you may be
  • the ability to make collections items discoverable online through a searchable public portal
  • automatic long-term digital preservation of your collection items through the Connecticut Digital Archive

With an affordable, sliding-scale pricing structure, Connecticut Collections is a smart choice compared to similar commercial database offerings. Whether you are thinking about moving from an older database system, interested in going beyond spreadsheets, or simply want to get a better handle on your collections, we invite you to learn more about what Connecticut Collections has to offer.

Learn more about Connecticut Collections

Best regards,
Connecticut League of History Organizations

Berkshire Historical Society selects Melville Fellows

Berkshire Community College student Aylen Dominguez has been selected as a Melville Fellow by the Berkshire County Historical Society.  She joins two other recipients, Shawna Hennesy from MCLA and Hazel Richards from Williams College.  This fall, the three Melville Fellows will be paid a stipend to work with the Writer-in-Residence at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead to produce original writing.  Public readings will take place in early 2022.  Congratulations to all three!

Housatonic Heritage and Berkshire County Historical Society worked together 10 years ago – in 2011-2012 – to establish the first Writer-in-Residence position at Arrowhead.  The partners at the time (Housatonic Heritage, Pittsfield High School, and Berkshire Historical Society, at Arrowhead) hoped to engage youth with the particular stories of Melville and Arrowhead and encourage students with their own writing. Berkshire Historical Society picked it up from there, and they have had a Writer in Residence since 2012.   And the Melville Fellow program, while different, reaches out to students, too.

Congratulations to the students and to Berkshire Historical Society.


Keynotes of Change, CLHO, Kyera Singleton, Northern Slavery and the Preservation of Memory

You are invited to the following CLHO program:

Keynotes of Change: Kyera Singleton, Northern Slavery and the Preservation of Memory

When: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 2:00 PM, EDT
Where: Zoom

Will you be attending?





Keynotes of Change

Northern Slavery and the Preservation of Memory

Kyera Singleton, Royall House and Slave Quarters

Wednesday, June 16 at 2 p.m.

About the talk: As this country has reckoned with dueling pandemics, Covid-19 and systemic racism, many conversations about racial injustice and social justice have dominated the minds of millions of people. In this talk, Kyera Singleton, who is the Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters, will discuss how and why former sites of slavery, as places of history, memory, and education, are crucial to reckoning with our current moment and imagining a more just world.

About the Royall House and Slave Quarters: In the eighteenth century, the Royall House and Slave Quarters was home to the largest slaveholding family in Massachusetts and the enslaved Black women, men, and children who made their lavish way of life possible. Today, the Royall House and Slave Quarters is a museum whose architecture, household items, archaeological artifacts, and public programs bear witness to intertwined stories of wealth and bondage and contestations of freedom in Massachusetts.

Kyera SingletonKyera Singleton is the Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters. She is also a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor in the Department of American Culture. For the 2021–2022 academic year, she is an American Democracy Fellow in the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. Before joining the Warren Center as an American Democracy Fellow, she held prestigious academic fellowships from the Beinecke Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). From 2018 through 2019, Kyera served as the Humanity in Action Policy Fellow for the ACLU of Georgia, focusing on mass incarceration, reproductive justice, and voting rights. As a public history scholar, Kyera recently served as an advisor on the Boston Art Commission’s Recontextualization Subcommittee for the bronze Emancipation Group Statue. She is also a member of the Board of Public Humanities Fellows at Brown University, which brings together a collection of museum leaders from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Mass History Conference over 6 days, beginning June 7

It’s not too late to register for the 2021 Mass History Conference!

On June 7th, 2021 and 6 other subsequent dates to network, listen, and learn with colleagues.

Speakers from organizations across the state will discuss key issues facing museums and historical organizations, including supporting volunteers, researching difficult histories, participatory archiving, community-based exhibit design, curating marginalized histories, and more.

Registration includes access to three Cafe on the Common networking events on Friday afternoons and three Classes on the Commons on Tuesday evenings.

View the full program and register here.

Questions about the conference?
Contact us at

Indigenizing Historical Narratives, June 2, 2021

Keynotes of Change: Chris Newell, Indigenizing Historical Narratives

When: Wednesday, June 02, 2021 2:00 PM, EDT
Where: Zoom

Will you be attending?





Keynotes of Change

Indigenizing Historical Narratives

Chris Newell, Abbe Museum

Wednesday, June 2 at 2 p.m.

Non-Native understandings of the history of Connecticut are often centered around colonial narratives beginning with the establishment of colonies in the 17th century. This results in pedagogies of history that contribute to erasure of Indigenous populations in the region for over 12,000 years prior to European colonization and continue the process. By re-incorporating the narratives of Native populations back into the narrative of history and social studies we create a mutually beneficial environment that is inclusive of the living Native populations of modern day Connecticut providing a clearer picture of its creation and existence. This talk will focus on entry points for these conversations and helpful tips on the proper use of language and vocabulary when incorporating them into content.

Chris NewellChris Newell (Passamaquoddy) is Executive Director and Sr. Partner to Wabanaki Nations for the Abbe Museum in Moneskatik (Bar Harbor, ME). He was born and raised in Motahkmikuhk (Indian Township, ME) and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township. He is a longtime member of the Mystic River singers, an internationally acclaimed and award winning intertribal pow wow drum group based out of Connecticut. He served for six years as the Education Supervisor for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. Out of the museum, Chris and his museum colleagues co-founded the Akomawt Educational Initiative as a response to observations of the public school system and the lack of representation of Native history and social studies. Chris combines his music and education disciplines together and often makes presentations that educate, but also entertain. In 2019 and 2020, he was honored by the New England Museum Association with Excellence Awards. He is a current board member for the New England Museum Association, the Tides Institute, a member of the Maine Arts Commission and the New England Foundation for the Arts Advisory Council.

Charter Oak Sponsor: Connecticut Explored

Classes on the Commons in June

This year’s Mass History Conference includes three Classes on the Commons on Tuesday evenings throughout June.

Tuesday, 6/15, 6:00-8:00 p.m. – Mass Humanities Presents: Grants, Workshops, and Resources for Small History Organizations

Presentations from panelists will be followed by a structured workshop discussion focused on attendees’ resource needs, reducing barriers to access, and opportunities to build greater capacity among small- and medium-sized history organizations.

Tuesday, 6/22, 6:00-8:00 p.m. – Taking STEPS Together: Exploring how regional groups of small museums can work together on developing organizational strength and sustainability

This 2-hour, hands-on workshop includes activities to assess your organization against AASLH’s Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (STEPS) audience standards. Participants will leave the workshop with the connections and tools to form and/or join a regional STEPS effort.

Tuesday, 6/29, 6:00-8:00 p.m. – Managing Preservation and Access to Public Collections with the MA SHRAB

This instructional session offered by the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) will provide an overview of managing and using public records — what they are, where you can find them, and how you can access them. The class is applicable to both records holders who manage public records and anyone interested in researching or using public records.

Admittance to these classes is included in the 2021 Mass History Conference registration fee. View the full conference program and register today!

Connecticut League of History Organization virtual workshops

Time to dust off your toolbox! The Connecticut League of History Organizations’ spring workshop series continues next week and into May. Here’s what’s coming up:

The Versatility of Virtual Tours
Tuesday, April 27, 1:00–2:30 p.m.

Join Litchfield Historical Society curator Alex Dubois, Avery Copp House director Leslie Evans, and Capture, LLC CEO Tony Healy for a presentation on the many uses and benefits of creating a 3D tour of your site.

Engaging Your Audience through Video
Tuesday, May 4, 1:00–2:30 p.m.

Creating engaging video content for your site is not as hard as you might think. Join Morgan Bengal, Nick Foster and Jennifer DiCola Matos as they discuss what has worked and what has not worked for them as they delve into the world of video creation.

Fundraising Past the Edge of the Pandemic
Tuesday, May 18, 1:00–2:30 p.m.

This workshop will give you ideas on how to refresh and expand your traditional fundraisers. From motivating board members to monetizing your site’s remote offerings, our presenters will share strategies to help you meet—and hopefully exceed—your fiscal goals.

Register for a Workshop

Workshops are $5 for CLHO members and $15 for nonmembers. If you are not currently a League member, we encourage you to consider joining CLHO or renewing your membership for access to discounted rates on these and future programs.

These workshops are offered in collaboration with Connecticut Humanities and support work in the collections, interpretation, audience, and management phases of AASLH’s STEPS program. For more information about STEPS-CT, please visit our website.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


2021 Mass History Conference June 7

2021 Mass History Conference

The Mass History Conference will be held online on June 7, 2021, with additional workshops and networking events on the Mass History Commons on six other dates in June. Engaging public history, including local history activities, is crucial to the civic well-being of our communities, our Commonwealth, and our nation. The conference will focus on history as a community activity, with more than fifteen sessions and workshops, a plenary by community history scholar Diana Becerra, a Commons area with tabling, and plenty of opportunities to meet and greet, network, exchange ideas and hatch plans and collaborations. Due to ongoing concerns about Covid-19, this year’s conference will be held online. But as soon as we can, we will return to meeting each other face to face!

Mass History Alliance announces Mass History Conference


The Massachusetts History Alliance announces the Mass History Conference will be held virtually on June 7, 2021.

For more information, see

There, you will see announcements for classes and workshops and their Conversations on the Commons.






Achieving Real Impact Via Virtual Programming

Achieving Real Impact Via Virtual Programming

When: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 1:00 PM, EDT
Where: Zoom
Will you be attending?

To Zoom or not to Zoom… Offering virtual programs at your museum or institution is not as daunting as you may think. Join three panelists as they describe their approaches to reaching their audiences remotely. From online lectures, workshops, and summer camps to documentary films, docent training, and guessing games, museums and historic organizations are connecting with real audiences using virtual tools to create both fun and informative programming. There will be time for questions and to share other virtual success stories.
  • Jennifer Simpson, Madison Historical Society, Madison, CT
  • David D.J. Rau, Director of Education and Outreach, Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT
  • Amrys Williams, Executive Director, CLHO