Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Local History Webinars

Training Programs for the Local Historian

Local History Webinars from Local History-Field Services | Wisconsin Historical Society

Local History Webinars

All of the Local History-Field Services' Local History Webinars are on Wednesdays and start at 10:30 am and conclude by 12:00 pm CT. There will be time during each program to ask questions for those that attend the live broadcast. All webinars will be recorded and available for viewing afterwards. All Local History Webinars are free and available to those in and out of Wisconsin. (Check here to make sure your computer system will support this program.)

November 8, 2017 - Making History Relevant

Presented by John Dichtl, President/CEO of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and who also serves on the executive committee of the History Relevance Campaign.

The History Relevance (HR) initiative is a group of history professionals posing questions about what makes the past relevant today. History can have more impact when it connects the people, events, places, stories and ideas of the past with people, events, places, stories and ideas that are important and meaningful to audiences today. This session will bring attendees up-to-date on HR’s activities and how the national campaign can be used as a tool at the local level. 

Watch the recording by clicking here.

December 6, 2017 - Tips for Applying to the Conservation Assessment for Preservation Program

Presented by Tiffani Emig, Conservation Assessment for Preservation Program Coordinator, Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC). Tiffini previously served as Curator of Collections for a small industrial history museum in Pennsylvania.

The Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program connects small and mid-sized museums with collections care professionals who help identify and prioritize the museum's collections care needs. The CAP report can be useful in developing a long-term preservation plan and in leveraging funding to implement collections care projects.

Watch the recording by clicking here.

January 10, 2018 - Wisconsin Historical Society Affiliation Program

Presented by Rick Bernstein, Local History-Field Services, Office of Programs and Outreach, Wisconsin Historical Society.

The Wisconsin Historical Society's Affiliation program began in 1898, an outgrowth of the 50th anniversary of Wisconsin's Statehood. 120 years later, the program includes nearly 400 affiliated organizations- that in turn encompass over 60,000 members and a total budget of nearly $12 million. Learn more about the Wisconsin Historical Society's affiliation program, its history,the singular significance of local history as well as how the affiliation program might offer something your local historical organization might benefit from.

Watch the recording by clicking here.

January 24, 2018 - Textiles 101

Presented by Karen DePauw, Coordinator, Local History Services, Indiana Historical Society.

As coordinator of Local History Services at the Indiana Historical Society, Karen DePauw serves Indiana organizations through collection care trainings and workshops.  She received a bachelor of arts in history at Quincy University and a master of science from the University of Rhode Island focusing on historic costumes and textile conservation.  Karen's passion for historic costumes and textiles has lead to the publication of two books, The Care and Display of Historic Clothing, and The House of Worth: Fashion Sketches 1916-1918. She is a member of the American Association for State and Local History Field Services Alliance and an active member of the Costume Society of America.

Much of what we do to preserve our textile-based collection items is classified as preventative.  We aim to preserve items for the future while making it possible to still display and study them.  Learn a bit about the basic preservation techniques for textile-based items, as well as helpful, budget-friendly tips.  Also, understand how to determine when conservation is needed and when it might be safely done in-house or requires a professional.

Watch the recording by clicking here.

February 7, 2018 - Interpreting Difficult History

Presented by Julie Rose, Museum Curator, Johns Hopkins University.

Julia Rose is the director/curator of Homewood Museum at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Previously, she was the director of the West Baton Rouge Museum, an AAM accredited regional history museum.  Her primary research interests focus on interpreting difficult histories and documenting historical enslaved plantation communities for museum interpretations.  Currently, Rose serves as the Immediate Past Chairman on the Council for the American Association for State and Local History.  She received a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, a Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education from the George Washington University, and a B.A in Fine Art and Education from State University of New York at Albany. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Museum Education. She has held positions at the Columbia Historical Society, East Tennessee Historical Society, and Magnolia Mound Plantation. Rose was also an assistant professor and an adjunct instructor teaching museum studies at Southern University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University, respectively. Her most recent publication is Interpreting Difficult History at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).

How do history workers engage audiences in learning about difficult histories? These are the tough stories. These are the recollections from history that can be upsetting, uncomfortable and at times even shocking to learn. This session will involve participants in learning about how to develop and deliver interpretations of difficult histories with strategies that are sensitive and offer ethical representations of historical Others. Historical representations of difficult histories can go beyond informing audiences by encouraging audience members to empathize deeply with the historical suffering of Others and to be encouraged to make meaningful connections to those who suffered and how their suffering is meaningful to society today.

Watch the recording by clicking here.

February 21, 2018 - Found In Collections (FIC): Resolving Undocumented Objects in Museum Collections

Presented by Danielle Benden, Driftless Pathways, LLC, a small museum consulting firm in Wisconsin. Ms. Benden obtained her B.S. in archaeology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a M.S. in Museum and Field Studies with an archaeology emphasis from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Before opening Driftless Pathways, she served as a museum director, and held the position of curator in the anthropology collections at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for ten years. She has directed national curation committees and is the current chair of the Society for American Archaeology’s Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation.

Undocumented or “orphaned” collections are groups of objects with little or no associated records that remain unresolved in museums. Ownership of or title to these collections is often unclear. This webinar will address “Found in Collections,” or FIC items, and provide practical guidance for working through the step-by-step process of reconciling them. A complimentary electronic resource guide that outlines specific criteria and procedures for determining appropriate methods to resolve FIC objects is provided to all participants.

Watch the recording by clicking here.

March 7, 2018 - Making the Case for Your Museum

Presented by Bob Beatty, Lyndhurst Group.

We know museums do good work and are critical to communities. But how do we carry that message to others? In this webinar, learn the importance of clearly articulating your case, how to draft key and consistent messages to articulate the need for change with different audiences, and develop techniques to better reach a desired audience.

Bob Beatty is President of The Lyndhurst Group, LLC, a history, museum, and nonprofit consulting firm providing community-focused engagement strategies for institutional planning, organizational assessments, and interpretive direction.From 2007-2017, Mr. Beatty served the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) as Chief of Engagement, Chief Operating Officer, Interim President & CEO, and Vice President for Programs. He remains editor of History News magazine and managing editor of the AASLH book imprint with Rowman & Littlefield. He worked from 1999-2007 as Curator of Education at the Orange County Regional History Center, a $35 million history museum in Orlando, Florida. Here, he established an extremely successful educational outreach program.

 Bob graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Studies in 1994 and an M.A. in History in 2002 from the University of Central Florida and has been an adjunct instructor of American History at the university and community college level. He has advanced to Ph.D. candidacy in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University. His dissertation topic is on the influence of Duane Allman and the Allman Brothers Band on American music.

Watch the recording by clicking here.

March 14, 2018 - Mexicans in Wisconsin

Presented by Sergio M. González, Department of History,University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Trace the diverse journeys of Mexicans to the Badger State in this new edition to our People of Wisconsin series! From agricultural and factory workers to renowned writers and musicians, the Mexican immigrants who have made their homes in Wisconsin over the past century have become a significant and diverse part of this state's cultural and economic history. Coming from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, the earliest Mexican immigrants traveled north in search of better economic opportunities and relief from the violence and economic turmoil of the Mexican Revolution. They found work in tanneries and foundries, and on beet farms where they replaced earlier European immigrant workers who had moved on to family farms.

As Mexican immigration has grown to the present day, these families have become integral members of Wisconsin communities, building businesses, support systems, and religious institutions. But their experience has also been riddled with challenges, as they have fought for adequate working conditions, access to education, and acceptance amid widespread prejudice. In this concise history, learn the fascinating stories of this vibrant and resilient immigrant population: from the Tejano migrant workers who traveled north seasonally to work in the state's cucumber fields, to the determined labor movement led by Jesus Salas, to the young activists of the Chicano Movement, and beyond.

Sergio M. González is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Grounded within working-class and immigration history, his research examines the religious communities Latino immigrants developed in Wisconsin throughout the twentieth century. Beyond his academic work, he serves on the boards of directors of the Wisconsin Labor History Society and the Madison-based Workers' Rights Center, and previously served as the co-president of the University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate worker union, the Teaching Assistants' Association. Mr. Gonzalez is the author of the book Mexicans in Wisconsin. The webinar will discuss how to best make the book, the author's research, and different methodologies useful for other historians. The webinar will discuss how to best make the book, the author's research, and different methodologies useful for other historians.

Watch the recording of the program here.

March 21, 2018 - The McCormick-International Harvester Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society

Presented by Sally Jacobs, McCormick/International Harvester Archivist, Wisconsin Historical Society and by Craig Deller, Conservator, Division of Library/Archives/Collections, Wisconsin Historical Society.

How did the vast archive of a Chicago business with Virginia roots become part of The Wisconsin Historical Society's collections? Archivist Sally Jacobs will take you through a quick timeline of Cyrus McCormick's invention of the reaper and how the records of both his family and his business (International Harvester) came to the Wisconsin Historical Society. In this overview of the collection, you will learn what sorts of history is documented in the millions of archival documents we house as well as how to access portions of the collection from any computer with an internet connection.

Craig Deller, Objects Conservator, Wisconsin Historical Society will also share some highlights of this vast and unique collection and what he is doing to conserve and preserve some particular pieces, such as patent models.More about the McCormick Collection can be found here.

Watch the recording by clicking here.

April 11, 2018 - Object Numbering

Presented by Krista Barry, Assistant Curator at the Logan Museum of Anthropology at Beloit College, where she received her BA in Anthropology. Previously, Krista worked as Curatorial Assistant at the Wright Museum of Art at Beloit College, and Collections Manager the Beloit Historical Society, where she currently serves as a member of their collections committee.

One of the most essential, and yet invasive, procedures performed on a museum object is applying a label. Numbering systems link an object to its record using a unique identifier, most often called a catalogue number, making those numbers fundamental for effective collections management. This session will introduce participants to the proper supplies and methods for marking a range of materials commonly found in museum collections. Participants will learn to identify safe and effective marking materials and techniques. They will also receive handouts for future reference, including a list of recommended supplies.

Watch the Recording by Clciking here.

April 25, 2018 - Exhibiting Historical Clothing & Textiles

Presented by Carolyn Jenkinson, NEH Project Coordinator for the Frances Bristol Collection and Archive at the Logan Museum of Anthropology at Beloit College. Carolyn received a master’s degree in textile history and material culture studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she also served as the graduate collections assistant at the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection. As weaver, dyer, and seamstress, Carolyn combines her academic interests in historical textiles with her love of fiber arts and textile conservation practices.

This session will introduce safe and economical ways to exhibit historical clothing and textiles in small museums with limited staff and resources. Participants will receive a general introduction to textile fiber properties, fabric identification, and common causes of damage in museum display environments. Participants will also learn to identify appropriate (and affordable) mounting materials and methods for the display of a wide range of flat and 3-D textile objects—from slant boards and Velcro mounts for historical flags and quilts, to creating or modifying mannequins for historical garments.

Register for this program here.

May 9, 2018 - Restoring Mount Vernon's Historic Windows

Presented by Steve Stuckey, Architectural Conservator, George Washington's Mount Vernon. Steve's education has included a mix of formal and informal experiences, including two graduate degrees; one in historic preservation from Eastern Michigan University and the other in history from the University of Missouri St. Louis. Steve has a deep interest in preserving all old and historic architectural elements, but has recently focused heavily on wood window preservation, flat plaster conservation, and material analysis. He is also heavily involved in research related to wood window performance and the historical evolution of various components associated to decoration and operation of sashes.

Window preservation has been an ongoing micro-movement within the larger industry of historic preservation. Many different approaches have been developed for treating the invaluable sashes and window frames of our country’s old and historic buildings. At George Washington’s Mount Vernon, window preservation is on the forefront of the architectural work completed on the 18th-century fabric. This webinar will discuss the various approaches used on Mount Vernon’s windows ranging from conservation techniques to full-scale restoration.

Register for this program here.

May 16, 2018 -  Caring for Ornamental Iron in Historic Cemeteries

Presented by Jason Church, a Materials Conservator in the Materials Conservation Program at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training in Natchitoches, LA. Jason divides his time between conducting in-house research, organizing various training events, and teaching hands-on conservation workshops. He earned his M.F.A. in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design. Jason is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. 

This webinar will begin with a discussion on various types of ornamental iron commonly found at historic sites including; fences, railings, balconies, cemetery markers, furniture, architectural supports, etc. The differences and unique properties of cast versus wrought iron will be addressed. The speaker will spend the second half of the webinar discussing various repair, treatment and coating options that can be done in-house.  After the presentation, there will be ample time for questions and answers.

Register for this program here.

May 23, 2018 - Historic Preservation Law and Best Practices for Historic Preservation Commissions In Wisconsin

We have just completed the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Reflection on those events reminds us that the most effective historic preservation efforts are local. Webinar presenters Dan Stephans and John Decker will review the development of historic preservation initiatives and the implementation of preservation laws by legislatures and courts. Local preservation activities conducted by landmarks and preservation commissions that comply with the requirements of federal and state laws, meet best practices, and further community expectations will be highlighted.

Attorney John Decker spent ten years on the Evansville Historic Preservation Commission, was the principal drafter of that city’s current historic preservation ordinance, and worked closely with Wisconsin legislators on the most recent comprehensive revisions to Wisconsin’s historic preservation laws. He is also a past president of the Wisconsin Association of Historic Preservation Commissions and a past president of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Architect Dan Stephans retired as the State of Wisconsin’s Chief State Architect and the Department of Administration’s Historic Preservation Officer. He served as a member of the Madison Landmarks Commission from Oct 2002 to Sept 2011 and served three terms as Chair. Dan is serving his 5th term on the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Review Board, which he has chaired, has served on Taliesin Preservation’s Board of Trustees since 2011, and currently chairs the Evansville Historic Preservation Commission in Rock County.

Register for this program here.

May 30, 2018 - Caribbean Volunteer Expeditions

Presented by Anne Hersh, AIA, will outline the types of projects, agencies, and countries served.  Helen Ross will present details of CVE's work in Curacao in 2010 and 2011.

Caribbean Volunteer Expeditions (CVE) is a nonprofit organization which recruits volunteers to work on preservation projects for local Caribbean agencies, such as National Trusts, Historical Societies and museums. 

Register for this program here.

For more info about Caribbean Volunteer Expeditions go to www.cvexp.org.

Have Questions?

Richard Bernstein
Local History-Field Services, Office of Programs and Outreach, Wisconsin Historical Society

816 State Street, Room 455
Madison, WI 53706-1482
Phone: 608-264-6583

 

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