Meet a Member is a regular blog series spotlighting our members. AASLH has 5,500 fascinating members working hard for the field of history, and we want to show them off.
Terri Blanchette: AASLH Member since 2008
Alma maters: B.A. U.S. History Cal State East Bay; M.A. U.S. History/Public History Duquesne University
What is your role in the field of history?
Owner, TimeSorters, LLC. After a number of years in the museum field, I realized that there is a lot of great history in informal family and business collections – but it’s at risk of disappearing due to improper care. So I founded TimeSorters, LLC. We provide museum-quality preservation services and train individuals on how to best store their personal treasures.
How did you become involved in the field of history?
I had a quirky undergrad professor who shared her intense passion for the relevance and people of history – they weren’t just dates and dead people. After moving to a new city I decided to volunteer at the local museum and have been involved with museums and preservation ever since.
Why does history matter to you?
It’s an unparalleled way to understand people and helps give context to what is happening today.
How has your AASLH membership been of value to you and your practice of history?
The high-quality in-person and webinar training has strengthened and broaden my skill set and being a member of the Leadership in History Awards committee has provided a wonderful opportunity to help other members gain national recognition while giving me new connections to colleagues who have ultimately become long-lasting friends.
What are you working on right now?
I have just completed writing a book about Cyrus “Cy” Hungerford, 1888-1983. He was the longest published editorial cartoonist of all time.
What is the most interesting or challenging change you’ve seen in the field (or that you see coming)?
Museums can no longer assume that their existence and “high calling” to saving history is enough to sustain them. They need to redefine their value and relevance to those they serve on a city by city basis.