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Online Course: Basics of Archives

Course Description

The newly revised Basics of Archives online course is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices.

The course consists of seven lessons:

  • Archives and Archivists
  • Acquiring Your Collections
  • Processing Collections
  • Housing Your Collections
  • Access and Outreach
  • Digital Records
  • Digitization

Details

COURSE DATES: January 27 - March 1, 2020

COST: $85 AASLH Members / $160 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: November 1 - January 19, 2019

REGISTER HERE

Course Logistics

FORMAT: Online, self-paced course with instructor feedback

LENGTH: 5 weeks; 15-20 hours to be completed anytime during the five-week course period (dates above).

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Online chat. There are no required times to be online.

MATERIALS: There are no required texts for this course. All materials will be provided.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with archival materials.

Instructor

Charlie Arp has a BA and MA in history from Ohio University where he specialized in archival studies. From 1991 to 2003 he worked at the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) where he held a variety of positions including archival processor, reference archivist, Head of Reference, Assistant State Archivist and State Archivist. As Assistant State Archivist he was the digital projects coordinator and he formed and chaired the Ohio Electronic Records Committee, an interdisciplinary group formed to draft electronic records policy, guidelines, and best practices for state and local governments in Ohio.  As State Archivist he was a senior level manager responsible for the planning, coordination, and administration of the operations of the State Archives including the Local Government Records program and the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor Archives/Library.

In 2003 Charlie was hired by the Battelle Memorial Institute as Enterprise Content Manager. At Battelle Charlie pioneered managing electronic records in lieu of paper records. Charlie also supervised the Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) archives. GLP records fall under FDA regulations to ensure that the records documenting scientific research for substances put in or on humans are created reliably and maintained authentically over time. In 2015 Charlie tested and validated the use of an electronic management program to enable Battelle to create, manage, preserve and use electronic records as part of submissions to the FDA.

In early 2016 Charlie accepted an offer for early retirement from Battelle. Since then he has started an archival and records management consulting firm and authored Archival Basics: A Practical Manual for Working with Historical Collections (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).

Participant Feedback

“This course was exactly what we need to improve our rather small Collection and take it to another step. Thanks for all of the ideas and information. I am especially impressed with how well the course is organized and presented online. The site was very well thought out and presented no problems for me – a slightly challenged computer geek-wanna be.”

“This was a marvelous course and now I have confidence that I can do the work: material to reference and people to communicate with as needed.”

“I just wanted to say thank you for having this course.  It has really helped me decide what direction I want to make my education in and had definitely helped me with some of the smaller preservation jobs I take on at the library.”


Live Webinar: Beyond the Spreadsheet: Finance and Organizational Priorities

Many of us recognize the utility of financial management, but struggle with how to best engage it with other organizational activities like strategic planning, operational needs related to programming and community engagement, messaging, and preparation for institutional change. This webinar helps participants foresee and tackle challenges of incohesive financial planning, such as fragmentation within the institution (the “silo effect”), lack of proper fundraising strategy, and potentially weak and even uncompliant organizational management.

In this 75-minute webinar, instructor Becky Beaulieu, author of Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) will help participants learn to identify financial priorities as they relate to institutional needs and goals. She will also address building buy-in amongst internal and external stakeholders to best position your organization for financial stability and strong partnerships.

This webinar is designed for participants of all levels, including staff, volunteers, and board members.

This webinar is part of the StEPs Lab series of online continuing education offered to both StEPs program participants and all others interested in the topic of financial management. This is StEPs Lab 19.

Details:

DATE: December 12, 2019

TIME: 3:00 - 4:15 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone)

COST: $40 Members / $65 Nonmembers / $15 discount for StEPs participants with promo code found on StEPs Community website

REGISTER HERE

Participant Outcomes:

After taking part in this webinar, participants will:

  • Learn how to engage financial systems with organizational planning.
  • Ensure effective alignment between financial best practices and the needs and responsibilities of paid/unpaid staff and board members.
  • Become more familiar with standards related to financial management and learn best practices for meeting those standards.

Speaker:

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Rebekah Beaulieu, Ph.D. is the Director of Florence Griswold Museum, an art museum, National Landmark historic house, and thirteen acres of gardens and grounds in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Becky is on the boards of the New England Museum Association and Connecticut Humanities, on the faculty of AASLH’s History Leadership Institute, and a member of the AASLH Finance Committee. She is an AAM Accreditation Commissioner and board member for the AAM Historic Houses and Sites Professional Network.


Webinar: Introduction to Audio, Visual & Film Media and Their Care

Join us for a lively overview of the many types of media & materials that comprise audiovisual media and movie film. The information will be presented in an historical context to give the participants an ability to more accurately identify these types of artifacts that may be in their collections.

How do we care for all these different media? Care & storage practices will be presented along with the various media. A glossary and handouts will help participants to best care for any media & materials in their own space.

Details:

DATE: December 5, 2019

TIME: 3:00 - 4:30 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone)

COST: $40 AASLH Members / $65 Nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

REGISTER HERE

Speaker:

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Kim Du Boise is President and Sr. Conservator of PhotoArts Imaging Professionals, LLC in Hattiesburg, MS. Ms. Du Boise has more than four decades’ experience with photographic materials as a photographer, college instructor, printmaker & conservator. Since 2001, Kim and her staff have served clients in more than 35 states and Canada. Projects include conservation treatments, preservation projects, collections assessments, traditional & digital archiving of mixed collections, and the remediation of fire, smoke, water & storm-damaged materials.

She is a Professional Associate of the AIC, active in the MS Gulf Coast Alliance for Response, an approved assessor for the Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program, and serves as an expert on the Connecting to Collections Care forum; all programs of the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC). Ms. Du Boise has served as a collections assessor for museum archives in photographic, audio & visual materials, digital media, carriers & assets for NEH grantees. She is a consultant for small to large museums, archives, and university-based special collections. Kim is an instructor for MuseumStudy.com and gives workshops on photographic and audio-visual materials & collections care at client locations.

Her firm is unique in the southeast U.S. for its mission and services. She and her partner provide conservation, digitization, and restoration for photographic materials, films – negative & positive, individual stills from 35mm up to 11x14, and movies from 8 & 16 mm, sound & silent, B&W to color, negative or positive. Her partner is a member of the AIC Electronic Media Group with specialties in audio materials – records to modern audio discs, movie films to VHS, BETA, and ¾” U-Matic video tapes to digital materials. Ms. Du Boise has experience in A-V media collection assessment and remediation of mold and organic materials on audio & visual tapes/films.

Kim is a member of the Photographic Materials Group, the Conservators in Private Practice, the Electronic Media Group, the Emerging Conservation Professionals Network, and a contributor to the AIC Wiki.


AASLH logo in white against green takes up half the image. On the other half is written

Webinar: New Member Orientation

Are you a new member of AASLH? Interested in AASLH membership? Eager to make the most of your important role in this community? Join AASLH staff for an interactive orientation on the services, programs, events, resources, and networking opportunities available to AASLH members.

As your home for history, we want to ensure you are getting the most value possible from your membership. This webinar will help you become more connected with the AASLH community and find out how we can support your practice of history. There will be plenty of time for any questions about AASLH or our services.

This webinar is free and open to all, but pre-registration is required. A recording of the webinar, slides, and notes will be sent to all registrants after the event. This webinar is offered every other month, so you can also join a future webinar if you want to learn more.

Know someone who is interested in becoming a member or getting more involved in AASLH? Invite them to register!

Details:

Date: November 13, 2019

Time: 3:00 – 4:15 pm Eastern (Please adjust for your timezone!)

Cost: Free for AASLH Members and Nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

REGISTER HERE

About the Instructor:

Darah Fogarty is the Marketing Coordinator at AASLH, where she is responsible for all large-scale communications and manages AASLH’s online presence, social media, and Career Center, all with the goal of improving the AASLH member experience. Darah is a native of Montana and a recent transplant to Nashville, TN. She holds a BA in Communications, with an emphasis in Organzational Communication, as well as an MBA from the University of Montana.


The StEPs logo, in which the letters of S-T-E-P-S are typed above a curved brush stroke that is lower on the left and higher on the right. Text below logo reads Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations.

Webinar: Is Your Organization Ready for StEPs?

Assessment programs like AASLH’s StEPs program are road maps. They are a valuable tool for moving an organization forward along a path and helping paid and unpaid staff, volunteers, and board members stay focused as they travel together along that path toward a set of common goals.

Organizations that can connect planning and fundraising to an assessment program gain credibility. Funders like to know that your proposed project is based upon goals that are supported by an assessment program, and that your organization’s progress can be measured.

StEPs is a self-study assessment program open to any museum, historical society, historic house, site, or related organization. It is intended for small- and mid-sized organizations that do not feel ready for other assessment programs, but larger museums may find it useful for prioritizing and as a refresher checklist or training tool. Enrollment in StEPs is a one-time fee of $175 for institutional members of AASLH.

Is your organization ready for StEPs? Join us for this free, one-hour webinar to hear how StEPs can help your organization create a road map for meaningful change.

Speaker: Cherie Cook, AASLH Senior Program Manager

Note: This webinar is for organizations that are considering using the StEPs program. Organizations already enrolled in the program should register for the free webinar, “StEPs Welcome or Refresher" on November 6, 2019:

Details:

DATE: October 9, 2019

TIME: 3:00 - 4:00 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone)

COST: FREE

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

REGISTER HERE

About the Instructor:

Cherie Cook is AASLH Senior Program Manager. Prior to joining the Association, Cherie worked with museums in Oklahoma for more than sixteen years, first as field services coordinator and then as executive director of the Oklahoma Museums Association. Much of Cherie’s work at AASLH focuses on smaller history organizations and is influenced not only by her years in Oklahoma but also her experience as a county historical society curator.


AASLH logo in white against green takes up half the image. On the other half is written

Webinar: New Member Orientation

Are you a new member of AASLH? Interested in AASLH membership? Eager to make the most of your important role in this community? Join AASLH staff for an interactive orientation on the services, programs, events, resources, and networking opportunities available to AASLH members.

As your home for history, we want to ensure you are getting the most value possible from your membership. This webinar will help you become more connected with the AASLH community and find out how we can support your practice of history. There will be plenty of time for any questions about AASLH or our services.

This webinar is free and open to all, but pre-registration is required. A recording of the webinar, slides, and notes will be sent to all registrants after the event. This webinar is offered every other month, so you can also join a future webinar if you want to learn more.

Know someone who is interested in becoming a member or getting more involved in AASLH? Invite them to register!

Details:

Date: September 25, 2019

Time: 3:00 – 4:15 pm Eastern (Please adjust for your timezone!)

Cost: Free for AASLH Members and Nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

REGISTER HERE

About the Instructor:

Darah Fogarty is the Marketing Coordinator at AASLH, where she is responsible for all large-scale communications and manages AASLH’s online presence, social media, and Career Center, all with the goal of improving the AASLH member experience. Darah is a native of Montana and a recent transplant to Nashville, TN. She holds a BA in Communications, with an emphasis in Organzational Communication, as well as an MBA from the University of Montana.


Online Course: Collections Management

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.

Details:

DATES: September 9 - November 1, 2019

COST: $195 AASLH Members/ $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: August 1 –  September 5, 2019; 30 person limit

REGISTER HERE

Full Online Course Description:

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Develop a detailed draft of a Collections Policy
  • Develop of identify a collection of objects
  • Develop a standardized set of registration records and forms including inventory, catalog, accession, and loans
  • Learn about various registration numbering systems and how to mark objects appropriately
  • Discuss issues related to collections strategies, mission, purpose, and scope of collections
  • Develop a broader understanding of legal and ethical concerns of managing collections

Who Should Attend:

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with collections management. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.

Course Materials

Required text: John E. Simmons, Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies, Washington, DC: American Alliance of Museums, 2006 (ISBN 10:1-933253-03-07). This text is NOT INCLUDED with your registration. Please order from the book seller of your choice.

Optional Resource: Daniel B. Reibel. Registration Methods for the Small MuseumFourth Edition, Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2008 (Paperback ISBN 978-0-7591-1131-8).

Instructor

Dr. Erin Richardson facilitates museums’ and cultural organizations’ capacity for mission delivery, particularly relating to art and artifact collections. With more than twenty years experience working with museum communities at Historic Cherry Hill, Fenimore Art Museum, and the Farmers’ Museum, she started a consulting firm in 2018 to assist museums in solving pressing long-term collection problems so that they may effectively serve their communities. Richardson holds a BA in American Studies from the SUNY Geneseo, a MA in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a PhD in Leadership and Policy from Niagara University.

Small Museum Pro!:

Successful completion of this course will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.


The 250th Anniversary Is Just Seven Years Away

“Revolution 250 event in Boston Harbor.” Credit: Jim Collins Photography/Revolution 250

By John Marks, Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives, AASLH

In just seven years, the United States will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution. What will that commemoration look like? And what will it mean for the history community? Over the past several months, AASLH has worked with its 250th Anniversary Task Force to gather the latest information from around the country about the status of planning for the “semiquincentennial.” After surveying the leaders of history organizations in every U.S. state and territory, we are pleased to release our 2019 Annual Report on the 250th Anniversary.

As you’ll see, about half the states in the country have initiated planning in some form. Several states, including Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee, have established state commissions to lead preparations for the anniversary, while others, like New Jersey and Delaware, are leaning more heavily on existing historical commissions to orchestrate these plans. In many states, planning is still in its nascent stages, as stakeholders hold informal conversations and gatherings to determine how best to work together. In other states, no planning at all has been initiated at this time.

Regardless of the status of formal plans, state history leaders are beginning to consider what the 250th anniversary might mean for their community. Some have emphasized the importance of commemorating a truly national history, one that extends beyond the thirteen colonies and the founding era. Other leaders have begun to emphasize the importance of civics, questions of American identity, and other key themes. AASLH’s task force has convened working groups to help provide leadership in several areas of emphasis for the field, including relevance, inclusive history, funding, collections, and education.

The 250th anniversary may seem a long time away, but 2026 will be here before we know it. With strong leadership, communication, and collaboration at this early stage, we can all play an important role in ensuring this anniversary has a lasting impact on the history community and the nation.

You can learn more about AASLH's efforts for the 250th Anniversary at aaslh.org/250th.

Read the 2019 Annual Report on the 250th Anniversary.


Webinar: Get Ready to Plan Strategically!

Strategic planning can be a daunting task for many organizations. Lack of time or resources are frequently cited barriers to planning, yet having no mission-driven direction tied to performance measures is risky. This 90-minute webinar will cut through the mystery and (perceived) misery of planning to introduce participants to the process and language of strategic planning.

In “Get Ready to Plan Strategically!” guest speaker Anne Ackerson will discuss the important preparations necessary for meaningful and productive strategic planning. She will also present models for strategic plan formats, address community input and visioning.

This AASLH webinar is part of the StEPs Lab webinar series offered to both StEPs participants and all others interested in the topic of strategic planning. Applying what you learn in a StEPs Lab to your policies and practices helps your organization make meaningful progress. Learn more about StEPs, AASLH’s self-study, self-paced assessment program designed specifically for small- to mid-sized history organizations, including volunteer-run institutions.

This is StEPs Lab 18.

Details:

DATE: June 25, 2019

TIME: 3:00 - 4:30 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone)

COST: $40 Members / $65 Nonmembers / $15 discount for StEPs participants with promo code found on StEPs Community website

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

REGISTER HERE

Participant Outcomes:

After taking part in this webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the difference between strategic and long range planning;
  • Learn other planning definitions like vision, goals, objectives, and tasks and understand the importance of being unified and consistent in the terms your planning group will use;
  • Learn what needs to be done before board, staff, and others gather for the first strategic planning session;
  • Understand that there are a variety of strategic plan formats and your organization should choose one that meets its needs, and
  • Be inspired to trust in the strategic planning process, see it through to the completion of the plan, and use it!

Speaker:

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Anne Ackerson is co-author with Joan H. Baldwin of the publications Women in the Museum: Lessons from the Workplace and Leadership Matters: Conversations with History Museum Leaders. Ackerson is also a co-founder of the Gender Equity in Museums Movement (GEMM).


A blurry crowd of people walking in front of a white building with columns.

AASLH Receives Grant to Study Americans’ Attitudes Towards History

A blurry crowd of people walking in front of a white building with columns.

By John Marks, PhD., Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives, AASLH

AASLH learned this week that we have received a major grant of $479,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for an exciting new project to research American attitudes towards history. The project, called “Framing History with the American Public,” will be completed in collaboration with the Washington, D.C.-based FrameWorks Institute, the National Council on Public History (NCPH), and the Organization of American Historians (OAH). Over the next three years, we will carry out a comprehensive, nationwide study of how the public views, interprets, and uses a wide variety of history activities and will develop new tools to strengthen the field’s communications efforts.

“This project could fundamentally transform the way the history field communicates with the public,” said AASLH President & CEO John Dichtl. “As we approach the nation’s 250th anniversary, ‘Framing History’ will empower history organizations to convey their impact in ways that have been proven to shift public understanding.” Inspired by the work of the History Relevance initiative, this project will equip the history community with a new, more effective communications framework.

The history community in the United States contains more than twenty thousand public history organizations, more than one thousand academic departments, and countless history advocates around the country. “Framing History” will not only provide unprecedented detail about how Americans view these organizations and their work, it will build, test, and share tools that all organizations and practitioners can use to positively affect public understanding of the value of history. Whether it’s a historical society communicating with new audiences, an academic department talking with potential majors, or a museum making their case to funders or legislators, this project will provide history practitioners with tools to frame their messages as effectively as possible.

“The public needs a new narrative—a new core story—about history, now more than ever,” said Nat Kendall-Taylor, CEO of FrameWorks Institute, which received a 2015 MacArthur Foundation award for creative and effective institutions. “History has a deep and profound influence on understanding and solving our social problems and plays a vital role in building and supporting an engaged citizenry. We are excited to be involved in helping to move the field forward by building understanding of and support for history as a discipline and practice.”

To begin, AASLH, NCPH, and OAH will establish a panel of history professionals representing the full breadth of the field to help the FrameWorks Institute identify the shared ideas and principles experts use to explain their work. Next, FrameWorks will conduct interviews around the country to better understand how Americans view history and its value to society and the gaps between their view and that of experts. In phase two of the project, FrameWorks will work with AASLH and partners to establish framing devices that can help overcome these gaps in understanding and empirically test their effectiveness through focus groups, experimental surveys, and on-the-street interviews.

In phase three, AASLH, NCPH, and OAH will help develop and share tools and educational materials to ensure professionals across the history community adopt the project’s findings. We will share the project’s findings through conference sessions, workshops, webinars, and other means as we help the history community understand and use these new framing devices. The project is scheduled to begin this later this summer. We plan to report about our findings as often as we can along the way, so stay tuned for more from this exciting project!


Want to know more? Contact John Marks, Ph.D., Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives, AASLH: [email protected]; 615-320-3203.