Category: News

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 …

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NEMA Primer follow up

On March 2 and 9, Housatonic Heritage‘s History Alliance sponsored a New England Museum Association Primer.  Thirty people participated each day, and all learned from experts in their fields: Collections: Barbara Allen, Stockbridge Library Museum & Archive Community Engagement: Elizabeth Sharpe, Amherst Historical Society Governance: Liz Shapiro, Sharon Historical Society Programs and Education: Lise Dubé …

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Mass Humanities June conference, still open to suggestions

Still Open to Suggestions Off the Record: Telling Lives of People Hidden in Plain Sight A Conference for Massachusetts History Organizations Monday, June 6, 2011 Keynote Speaker: Elise Lemire, Purchase College, State University of New York and author of Black Walden. Mass Humanities is still accepting ideas for breakout sessions for this conference. If you …

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Workshop for historical societies, small museums and house museums

The History Alliance is hosting the NEMA Primer for historical societies, small museums, and house museums on March 2 and 9, two consecutive Wednesdays, at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge. This primer, highly recommended by professionals in the field, has been presented at other New England locations, but this one will be offered nearby.  …

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New Dates: Become a certified museum or historic house tour guide –non-credit course at BCC

Note date change:  2/12 to 4/9 are the program dates Berkshire Community College Workforce Development Non?credit Course Become a Certified Museum or Historic House Guide Saturday, February 12 to April 9, 2011 (exact dates TBA), 10 am to noon Fee $79 (to be confirmed) Have you always wanted to work or volunteer as a guide in a museum or historic site? Or, are you a seasoned guide who would like to deepen your knowledge and understanding of interpretive practices? This course is designed to develop and refine the skills you need to lead guided group tours, interpret collections and historic sites, and offer high quality visitor experiences. Topics covered include defining the visitor experience, customer service, knowing your audience, presentation skills, group management, and more. Upon the successful completion of this course, you will have the skills and confidence needed to work a cultural organization in the Berkshires and beyond. In addition to weekly instruction, each session includes “mini” oral presentations to build your public speaking proficiency and discussion of current standards, research, and trends. A background in art, history, or teaching is not required, just an interest in working with the public, an open?mind and a willingness to learn. Session 1:  Understanding the Visitor Experience Expectations, needs, rights, leisure preferences, definitions, research, trends, when does the visitor experience begin, what role does the guide/interpreter play in the visitor experience Session 2:   What is a Guide/Interpreter? Roles and Responsibilities Interpreter/Guide/Docent – same? different? roles and responsibilities, guided tours defined, interpretation defined, what to expect, working with the public, attitude, flexibility, open?mindedness, listening and speaking skills Session 3:  Know Your Audience Habits, needs, expectations, interests, different types of visitors and learners, teachable moments, dealing with conflicts, difficult visitors, and “experts”, pacing/tone/language, reading your visitor Session 4:  Balancing Visitor Needs and Your Knowledge: The Tipping Point Know your subject, how to avoid being overwhelmed, interpretation vs information, reading, context, filtering, conversation and discussions vs talking head, “I don’t know” – being a new guide Session 5:  Storytelling & Performance – “Making it Stick” Crafting an interesting story to tell, what visitors are interested in and remember, use of …

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History Alliance to host two day conference

History Alliance to offer Save Your Collections,  March 2 & 9 Mark your calendars: Southern Berkshire location to be announced Program for historical societies, small museums and related organizations The History Alliance will host a two-day primer for small museums and local history organizations on two consecutive Wednesdays, March 2 and 9, from 9:30 to …

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GB Historical on WSBS

Great Barrington is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year with events throughout 2011. The first event  pertains to Revolutionary War hero General Henry Knox and the Knox Trail which runs from Ticonderoga NY through Great Barrington to Boston. As part of the event, Gary Leveille of GB Historical wrote and recorded a group of Henry …

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See Housatonic Heritage site for Berkshire history related events

Housatonic Heritage maintains an events page on their site, which currently includes Arrowhead’s holiday candlelight tours, Mass MoCA’s Deedle Deedle Dees, the educational rock band, and other Berkshire events of interest to history lovers.   Keep us posted about your events, and we will post them there!

W.E.B. Dubois: A Life Examined, course offered in Gt. Barrington

W.E.B. Du Bois: A Life Examined taught by Du Bois scholar Dr. Homer (Skip) Meade is a four-part course exploring the many contributions made by this scholar, sociologist, environmentalist, human rights advocate, visionary and writer. Dr. Meade, with the assistance of the University of  Massachusetts Special Collections staff, will guide participants through a reading of …

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Free Teaching History Workshop for K-12 History Teachers

Free Workshop for K-12 History Teachers The National History Education Clearinghouse is offering their workshop on Saturday, January 8th at the Marriott Boston Copley Place during the American Historical Association’s Annual Conference in Boston. Register for this free workshop by emailing If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Rosenfeld at