2024 LLHSM Annual Conference

Now & Then 70th Annual LLHSM Conference, May 10, 2024

70th Annual Meeting of the League of Local Historical Societies & Museums
May 10, 2024
White River Junction, VT

Support Provided by the Walter Cerf Community Fund

Celebrating its 70th year, the League of Local Historical Societies & Museums (LLHSM) Annual Conference is the largest yearly gathering of local history and museum professionals in the state. It is a chance to network and learn with colleagues in a supportive environment.

What has changed in the last 70 years for local historical societies and museums and what has stayed the same? A report from the first conference notes that organizations should have “a real story to tell” and emphasized the importance of “attracting the interest of children and young people” which might sound familiar to many of us today. With this year’s theme of “Now and Then” we’ll explore some of the bedrocks of doing local history and ways to accomplish them today, learn more about how we can utilize the 250th anniversary of the US as a rallying point in our own communities, and learn from the experts in our ever popular practical and hands-on sessions.

Registration Fees: $25 VHS Members/$40 Non-Members.
Registration fees include light breakfast, lunch, snacks, & all sessions. Space may be limited, register early to reserve your spot! (Lunch not guaranteed if registering after 5/3)

Contact Director of Service & Outreach Eileen Corcoran at eileen.corcoran@vermonthistory.org for invoicing options or other registration questions.


Click Here for a Printable Version of the Schedule

8:45 to 9:30 am         
Registration & Coffee

Hotel Coolidge, 39 S Main St, White River Junction, VT

If you'd like to stay overnight, rooms are available at the Hotel Coolidge at their Conference Rate. Please call 1-800-622-1124 to make your reservation and ask for that rate. 

9:45 to 10:30 am       
Welcome & LLHSM Awards

We’ll kick off the conference with our annual LLHSM Achievement Awards, which recognize the exceptional work being done by individuals and community history organizations throughout the state to collect, preserve, and share Vermont’s rich history.

10:45 to 11:45 am     
Concurrent Sessions 1

Understanding Archival Description
Elizabeth H. Dow, President, Hardwick Historical Society

Describing a book is like filing a report about a stolen car: orderly and efficient, done one car/book at a time. Describing a collection of archival materials is like reading an Agatha Christie novel: messy and confusing with overlooked details, false clues, and no final resolution until the very end. This discussion will cover why the two processes are so different, and how we can make archival description more orderly?

Local History in Vermont’s Schools: Understanding Opportunities & Challenges
Meg Mallory, Outreach Educator, VHS

Vermont’s education system is highly localized and complex. In this session we’ll explore some ways in which local historical societies can create resources and opportunities that fit with the needs of today’s educators, including opportunities to participate in larger projects and programs managed by VHS.

Promoting History
Andrew Liptak, PR & Guest Services Coordinator, VHS

We live in a time where social media dominates our attention, and it can be a challenge to be heard through the digital noise. But the internet also provides a wealth of tools for historical societies, museums, and historians to spread the word about their programming, discoveries, publications, and that one cool item you’ve taken in for preservation. In this session, we’ll explore ways to promote, showcase, and teach history to your members, followers, and community.

11:45 am to 1:00 pm

Keynote Discussion & Lunch: Vermont and the 250th

Laura Trieschmann, State Historic Preservation Officer & Vermont 250th Commission Chair
Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, Executive Director, Vermont Humanities
Susan Evans McClure, Executive Director, Vermont Arts Council

What is a “Semiquincentennial” and why should arts & cultural organizations care? Vermont’s cultural leaders will share their thoughts and strategies during this roundtable discussion to help organizations think about ways to explore, commemorate, and thoughtfully discuss the 250th Anniversary of the U.S. in 2026 and Vermont’s role in it.

1:15 to 2:15 pm        
Concurrent Sessions 2

You and the 250th
Eileen Corcoran, Director of Service & Outreach, VHS

This follow-up to our Keynote will provide an opportunity to learn about existing and upcoming programs associated with Vermont’s 250th—including grants, educational initiatives, and event promotion. We also welcome those who already have plans for commemorating the 250th in their community to come and share their work.

Looking For Help in All the Right Places?  Budget Friendly Tips for Collections Care
Michele Pagan, Textile Conservator in private practice
Elsbeth Geldhof, Conservator in private practice,
Kathleen Messier, Archivist, Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington Vt
Darlene Bialowski, Contract Museum Registrar
Johanna Pinney, Dartmouth College

Join us for demonstrations and tips covering a variety of collection care tasks, many of a "Do It Yourself" nature. We will cover textile cleaning, books care & repair, basic dust removal tips of collection objects and spaces and more!  Learn how you too can perform collections care procedures for your institution while working with a limited budget and staff.

This workshop will appeal to those with collections care responsibilities in a wide range of organizations, including museums, archives, historical societies and conservation studios.  Both paid staff and those working in a volunteer capacity are encouraged to attend.

This is a two-part session.

Exploring Small Town History With Comics!
Emily Zea, cartoonist

In this session we will discuss the comic medium as a tool to make small town history engaging for all ages! We will talk about Vermont landscapes, using reference for buildings and how art makes history accessible to everyone. 

2:15 to 2:30 pm        


Snacks & conversation. Don’t forget to check out the VHS bookstore table!

2:30 to 3:30  pm       

Concurrent Sessions 3

Hartford Historical Society Tour

The Hartford VT Historical Society preserves the history and material culture of Hartford Village, West Hartford, White River Junction, Wilder, and Quechee. Take a visit to the Society’s headquarters at the Garipay House, located at 1461 Maple Street in Hartford Village. The house contains the society’s archives and museum. The home was bequeathed to the Society by Loretta Michota Garipay. Loretta and Stanley Garipay were physicians and the mid-twentieth century medical office of Dr. Stanley Garipay has been preserved.

When the Water Comes In: Flooding Impacts and Mitigation Strategies
Victoria Sample, Historic Sites Section Chief, VT Division for Historic Preservation
James Duggan, Director of Preservation, VT State Historic Sites

The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation’s Director of Preservation James Duggan and State Historic Sites Section Chief Victoria Sample will discuss best practices and how to apply them to your individual organization’s needs in an emergency event. Learning lessons from the July 2023 flood, be prepared to think about the specifics of your organization and how to approach emergency management as you learn tools to help guide you through challenging events.

Part 2: Looking For Help in All The Right Places?  Budget Friendly Tips for Collections Care

The demonstrations and practical collections care tips continue!






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