Loom Brook Trail opening at Bidwell House

Unveil the Trail!
November 20, 10 am.

Come join Board Members Rob Hoogs and Tom Ryan, along with Elia Del Molino of the Greenagers, as we unveil the new “Loom Brook Trail” on the museum property. About two miles of new trails were built by the Greenagers during 2021 with a grant from MassTrails.

The new trails connect to the property’s existing 4 miles of trails, creating the opportunity for several new loops of one to two miles. On Saturday, November 20 (rain date Sunday Nov. 21) we will guide you along some of the new and old trails starting from the museum parking lot at 10:00 a.m. The guided walk will cover about two miles and will take about two hours. We’ll stop at a few locations to talk about some of the history and natural features of the property.

Please wear good hiking shoes; wear clothing layers to adjust to conditions; bring water and a snack if you want; and bring trekking poles if you use them.

This walk is free, but attendance is limited so pre-registration HERE is required.

(No title)

Planning and getting started on your oral history project
…or, picking up a paused project

November/December 2021 Workshop Series:
From planning, to interview, to archive:
An informal series to get you started or re-started


Session 1, November 16, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Plan your oral history project:  We will walk through the early planning to help you create a doable and sustainable oral history project.  We will talk about your concept (why, for whom), and logistics (how), and consider ethical questions. We will talk about safe backup and storage.

The Archive: Where will your project be safely stored and made available to others?   So often people skip this part, with all good intentions. In the end, it is the part of an oral history project  least likely to be completed. Yet it is necessary if your oral history interviews will be heard in the future, or even in the present.



(Photo:  Margaret Cherin, archivist, helping us to understand the order of things: It is a best practice, she told us, to plan safe storage and archiving right at the beginning of the oral history project.  A first step.  She directed a project at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Here she is showing a transcript from the collection of Simon’s Rock founder Elizabeth “Betty” Blodgett Hall )

Session 2, November 30, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
The Interview:  We will help you plot out logistics of your first interview, whether virtual or in-person.  We will discuss release forms/deeds of gift and other related project materials.

Session 3, December 14, 3:30-4:30 p.m
Brainstorm, Drop-in:   A drop-in session on zoom. We talk about your projects as they progress, and we will brainstorm your roadblocks and questions together.


All Fall Workshops will be virtual, on Zoom, free of charge.    Registration is required.    To register, write to Judith Monachina:  jmonachina@berkshirecc.edu


Winter chats with professionals
Dates/times to be announced in December


•Oral history as community-based theater•

•Oral history in podcasts•

•Oral history as exhibit•

Announcement of grants from Connecticut Humanities

Apply for the two new grantsfrom Connecticut Humanities

Application deadline: November 15, 2021

CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants

Connecticut Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants

  • Noncompetitive grant program: if you are eligible, you will receive a grant
  • Minimum award is $5,000
  • No matching funds required
  • Streamlined application process
  • All types of museums, historical societies, and cultural institutions should apply and will receive funding

Missed our Info Session?

You can watch the recording on our YouTube channel. CTH staff walk you through the application process and answer questions about eligibility, organizational budgets, funding determinations, and more.

SHARP Grants

SHARP Grants

  • Competitive grant program similar to CTH’s Capacity Building Grants
  • No matching funds required
  • Maximum grant is $10,000
  • Streamlined application process
  • Can be used to cover retroactive expenses going back to March 15, 2021
  • Libraries are eligible

Missed our Info Session?

You can watch the recording on our YouTube channel. CTH staff walk you through the application process and answer questions about organizational eligibility, eligible expenses, and more.

Questions about these or other Connecticut Humanities grants? Email Lian Partridge, CTH’s Grants and Programs Assistant, at lpartridge@cthumanities.org.


Connecticut League of History OrganizationsCentral Connecticut State University History Department1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06050(860) 832-2674www.clho.org

New England Museum Assoc. (NEMA) online in November

2021 NEMA Annual Conference

Recreate, Recharge, Reimagine

November 15, 17, and 19

Location: Online

New England’s premier museum conference is fast approaching—and we have good news! Thanks to the generosity of our friends at the New England Museum Association, CLHO members can register for this fall’s NEMA conference at the NEMA member rate. CT Humanities and the Connecticut Office of the Arts have also funded free attendance for anyone from Connecticut wanting to attend where cost is a concern.

This year’s theme—Recreate, Recharge, Reimagine—focuses on the opportunities we face in 2021 after more than our share of of challenges in 2020. What happens next? Where do we find ways to become re-inspired in our work, or newly inspired? What programs and connections do we rebuild, and what can we create that suits new needs? How do we rejoin the museum workforce, and what can we do to welcome new colleagues?

Learn More

Discounted and Free Registration Opportunities

CLHO Members can register at the NEMA Member rate—a savings of $25. Not sure if you’re League membership is up-to-date? Log in to the CLHO website, or send us an email at info@clho.org and we can help you out.

Scholarships are also available for anyone from Connecticut who wants to attend the conference but is concerned about the cost. All you have to do is fill out a brief application form. The deadline to register for the no-cost option is this Friday, October 22, so sign up today!

Get a Scholarship

Scholarships are made possible through the generosity of CT Humanities and the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

We’ll see you at NEMA!

New film: The Long Road, Notable Women Remembered, women in the Berkshire region directed/ featured

The Long Road:
Notable Women Remembered

Free Screening at Images Thursday, September 23 at 4:30pm

This hour-long video documentary to be screened free at Images Cinema on Spring Street in Williamstown on Thursday, September 23, at 4:30pm profiles some of our local forefighters in the empowerment of women. There are some faces you’ll recognize, like Susan B. Anthony, former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift or Helen Renzi, who was the first female superintendent of schools in Berkshire County. Others have been more seldom seen in the annals of local history. Phoebe Jordan was the first woman to cast a vote in a presidential election after the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. Emma and Florence Bascom and Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre were active suffragists, and Margaret Hart was one of the first African American graduates of North Adams Normal School (now MCLA), as well as being an activist in the local civil rights movement.

“The Long Road” will be broadcast on Willinet during the month following this screening and will be available on Willinet’s website https://willinet.org


This project was produced by Bette Craig, Debby Dane, and Jack Criddle, and is presented by the Northern Berkshire Suffrage Centennial Coalition in collaboration with Willinet and supported by a grant from the Fund for Williamstown of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Taking History Across Town: Collaborations between historical societies, libraries, schools

Conversations on the Commons invites you to:

Taking History Across Town: Collaborations between historical societies, libraries, and schools

Friday, September 24, 2021, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Join us for a conversation about collaborations across town. What do you do, and how well does it work? What does not work? Join our panelists, Sabrina Kaplan, Outreach Manager at the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, and John Galluzzo, President of the Hanover Historical Society, in discussing taking history across town. We know teachers are stressed and programs are focused on the test.  What are good ways to approach teachers and school programs about creating a local history curriculum? Is it easier to visit the school or have the students visit you? What are fruitful ways in which libraries and historical societies can collaborate and cross-pollinate? Come share your successes, but also the difficulties you have encountered and how you may have met them.

REGISTER HERE or visit the Mass History Commons to learn more.This event will be livestreamed. We will do our best to monitor questions and comments during the livestream. A recording will be publicly available in the Conversations on the Commons Archive.

Questions? Be in touch with Caroline Littlewood: commons@masshistoryalliance.org

Conversations on the Commons

Where people from Massachusetts history organizations get to vent, empathize, laugh, complain, think, collaborate, brainstorm, plan, and in general be up to no good.

Upcoming Conversations:
October 8 – Combatting Native American Erasure
October 22 – Connections between Local History Organizations and Academia

Suggest a Conversation topic or volunteer as a peer panelist or moderator.

Mass History Commons is a project of the Mass History Alliance supported by the generous contributions of our sponsors:

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 conference@masshistoryalliance.org