History Skills Workshop Series is Perfect for Local Historical Groups

The 2011 History Skills Workshop Series is designed to support local historical organizations as well as people interested in historic preservation. These courses are now being offered at the Historical Society of Michigan’s (HSM) new Education Room in their new office in Lansing. Take a moment to browse the courses below and see if they might be beneficial for the staff and volunteers at your local museum or other historical organization.

Members of HSM can attend any workshop listed below for $35. Non-members may attend for $70 ( which includes a one-year membership to the HSM).  All workshops are held 9 a.m. to noon at the HSM main office at 5815 Executive Dr., Lansing, Michigan. To register for a workshop visit http://www.hsmichigan.org/workshops.php or call toll-free (800) 692-1828.

Friday May 20

Basic Archival Skills

Kristen Lynn Chinery, Walter Reuther Library, Wayne State University

This workshop is designed for small museums and other historical organizations that struggle with how to collect, organize, maintain and make available archival materials in their collections.  The presenter will discuss best practices in a variety of areas including donor documentation, arrangement and description issues, how to handle photographs, public access issues and much more.

Friday June 3

Basic Curatorial Skills for Small Museums and Historical Societies

Robert Myers, Berrien County Historical Association

Many small museums and historical societies struggle with basic curatorial issues related to their artifact, textile, archival and other collections. Collections management on a limited budget poses many challenges.  This workshop will address a wide variety of storage, preservation, cataloging and legal issues, and is led by a professional curator.    

Friday, July 15

Marketing and Branding for Small Historical Organizations

Patricia Majher, Michigan History magazine

History museums face increasing competition not only from other museums, but from other forms of entertainment such as casinos, shopping excursions, winery tours, and more. These competitors—with their big marketing budgets—can negatively impact small museums the most. But with the thoughtful application of basic marketing rules and tools, a small museum with limited means can not only survive, but thrive in this environment.

Friday, July 29

How to Successfully Publish your History Book

Thomas Vranich, Bookability

All of the necessary steps in planning your book project, including creating financial and production goals, what material to include, how to illustrate, defining your market, developing a work-plan, and marketing the volume to the public. 

Friday, September 30

Historic Books: How to Identify, Mend, Collect and Care for Valuable Volumes

Jay Platt, Westside Bookshop

Do you work with or collect old or collectible books?  This workshop will discuss how to identify valuable volumes, issues related to book collecting, storage considerations, basic mending techniques that are archival safe, building a library, how to care for books, cataloging, and many other issues that are a special concern for historical societies, and book collectors.

Friday, September 9

Fading Photos: How to Identify, Scan, Restore & Archive Historic Photographs

Robert Meyers, Berrien County Historical Association

The Fading Photos workshop will assist small museums, historical societies, and interested collectors to both identify and preserve their historic photographs. The presenter will review basic conservation techniques for damaged images, type identification for early photographs, how to avoid deterioration of your images, storage recommendations, digital scanning for access, and how to approach cataloging issues.  There will also be plenty of time for workshop participants to ask questions and have hands-on experiences.

The Historical Society of Michigan, established in 1828, is the state’s oldest cultural organization. It helps to connect Michigan’s past to students, educators, historical organizations and the public through education programs, conferences, publications, awards, workshops, referral services, networking opportunities, and support for local history organizations.