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Representatives from Wilmington College to Attend Statewide Meeting of Local Historians

Annual Meeting of Ohio Association of Historical Societies & Museums at Ohio Historical Center in Columbus, October 1-3

August 31, 2009

The Quaker Heritage Center of Wilmington College wants to do the best job it can to preserve and share the history of Wilmington College, Wilmington, Clinton County, and Wilmington Yearly Meeting. Meeting that challenge means that the Quaker Heritage Center is committed to honing the skills leaders and volunteers of the society need and taking the time to learn from experiences of other local history groups from across the state.

This will happen when local representatives will attend the annual meeting of Ohio Association of Historical Societies & Museums, the statewide organization for Ohio’s local historians, in Columbus at the Ohio Historical Center Oct. 1 – 3.

OAHSM’s theme in 2009 is “The Role of Historical Organizations in Shaping and Engaging Communities.” Local historical societies engage and shape their communities in many ways: when they hold special events that commemorate a community’s history; offer school programs that help children appreciate their town’s history and in so doing, prepare for state-mandated proficiency tests;, and publish a column of local history or vintage photographs in area newspapers.

Helping attendees to think comprehensively about their communities is the subject of the annual meeting’s keynote address, by Bob Beatty, vice president of programs for the American Association of State and Local History. Bob’s remarks, titled “The Future of Local and State History” will examine larger demographic, societal and economic trends that affect local history organizations in Ohio and across the nation and examine how local history organizations survive and thrive, even in changing and challenging times.

The heart of the meeting is its workshops and panel sessions, during which Ohio’s local historians can gain new skills and harvest new ideas. Workshops include “Summer Camps and Programs 101: Making History Exciting for Kids,” “Display on a Dime: Inexpensive Ideas to Show Off Your Collections” and “Writing for Clarity,” a preconference workshop about writing effective press releases and museum exhibit signs. Other session address such topics as grant writing and fund raising, internships and local history in cyberspace

The countdown is underway towards the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (2011 – 2015) and it’s not too early to start planning. OAHSM’s annual meeting will feature a session intended to help Ohio’s local historians think about how they and their communities can commemorate the war. OAHSM’s partner organization, the Ohio Historical Society, has been asked by Governor Ted Strickland to coordinate and lead the state’s commemoration of the sesquicentennial.

A highpoint of the meeting is the presentation of OAHSM’s Outstanding Achievement Awards. The awards recognize the exemplary work of local historical organizations and local historians throughout the state. The awards presentation also generates a lot of comment, as attendees take note of award winning programs they can replicate at their organizations.

The Ohio Association of Historical Societies & Museums, organized in 1960 under the sponsorship of the Ohio Historical Society, is composed of local historical societies, historic preservation groups, history museums, archives, libraries and genealogical societies throughout the state involved in collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history.

The Ohio Association of Historical Societies & Museums annual meeting and conference is organized for OAHSM by the Ohio Historical Society’s Local History Office. For more information or to register, visit www.oahsm.org and click on the annual meeting and conference link or call 800.858.6878.

The Ohio Humanities Council, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is please to support the 2009 Ohio Association of Historical Societies & Museums Annual Meeting and Conference.