2023 LLHSM Annual Conference

Artifacts & Audience 69th Annual LLHSM Conference, May 19 2023

69th Annual Meeting of the League of Local Historical Societies & Museums
May 19, 2023
Barre, VT

Presentation Materials

Active Collections- slides, resources, & handouts in Google folder
Engaging Students- Presentation
Assessing Significance- Presentation
Reparative Cataloging- Presentation and Resource List


Join us in Barre, VT for the 69th annual League of Local Historical Societies & Museums (LLHSM) Conference! We’re mixing it up and gathering in the spring for a fresh start and a slate of practical and inspiring sessions. This meeting 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. The day includes concurrent sessions focused around “Artifacts”- the collections we preserve, and “Audience”- the people we serve. The day also includes our annual LLHSM Achievement Awards ceremony, a chance for informal lunch discussions, and more!

Download a printable Conference program

Registration Fees: $10 VHS Members/$25 Non-Members.
Registration fees include all sessions & snacks. Space may be limited, register early to reserve your spot!

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


8:45 to 9:30 am
Registration & Coffee
Vermont History Center, 60 Washington St, Barre, VT
All conference activities take place at the History Center

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

Introduction to Active Collections
Eileen Corcoran, Director of Service & Outreach, VHS

Unsure what you should collect and what you might be able to deaccession? Want to make your collections work for you, rather than you working for the collections? Explore new practices in collections management and stewardship, with a focus on strategies for small historical societies, in this introduction to the principles of the Active Collections movement.

Engaging Students with Local History
Sarah Rooker, Executive Director, Norwich Historical Society

Using local history artifacts and archival materials with students helps them learn historical thinking skills, investigate multiple perspectives, and connect with the place they live. This session will talk about how you can make primary sources accessible to students and connect your collections to different types of learning projects.

11:45 am to 12:45 pm
Lunch on your own
Bring your own lunch and join fellow conference goers in the community room, or grab lunch from one of Barre’s numerous nearby restaurants.

1:00 to 2:00 pm      
Concurrent Sessions 2

Assessing the Significance of Your Collections
Rachel Onuf, Vermont Historical Records Program, VSARA

One of the most rewarding aspects of working with collections is assessing their significance for your community.  This session will be an opportunity to discuss what “significance” might mean and the explicit and implicit values we weigh when we assess how significant something is.  We will briefly review what should be in place before you begin an assessment and explore some models your organization might adapt.  There will be ample time for questions and conversation. 

Learning with Vermont Folklife's Archive: What is a Folklife Collection?
Alexandra Sasha Antohin and Mary Wesley, Vermont Folklife

How do audio recordings from folklife collections elevate everyday life as a valuable source of knowledge? This session will introduce the kinds of cultural documentation included at Vermont Folklife's Archive and focus on archival sound as a unique type of primary source. Participants will hear a selection of interview excerpts focused on Vermont farming and foodways, part of Teaching with Folk Sources, a Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources project. The session will also offer activities and resources that encourage the use of oral history interviews, both as a record and as part of critical inquiry for learners of all ages.

2:00 to 2:15 pm      
Snacks & conversation in the Community Room

2:30 to 3:30  pm     
Concurrent Sessions 3

Reparative Description: How to Promote Equity and Inclusion in our Historical Collections
Juls Sundberg, Metadata Librarian, VHS

What materials are we collecting, and how do we describe them? This session will introduce the concept of reparative description and discuss how historical societies can promote equity and inclusion through collection development. Attendees will be given examples of how to use reparative description practices and language choice to combat bias and stereotypes. We will also discuss how expanding collections to include materials from historically underrepresented groups allows historical societies to serve our communities better. This session will include skills that apply to all sizes of collections and many types of descriptions, including catalog records, finding aids, exhibit labels, and more. No prior knowledge of cataloging or collection development is necessary.

Introduction to Transcribing Historical Documents
Rodney Obien, Keene State College; Timothy Hastings, U Mass-Amherst; and Brian Burford, retired New Hampshire State Archivist

The New Hampshire Citizens Archivist Initiative was established in 2014 to teach community members how to process and transcribe historical documents for public consumption online. The session is an introduction for those who are interested in learning how to transcribe historical documents and becoming “citizen archivists” themselves (or helping others to do so).  The workshop will be led by the editors of the papers of Meshach Weare (1713-1786), the first governor of New Hampshire. Participants will work on transcribing documents from the Weare Papers relating to the border dispute between New Hampshire and Vermont. The session should be fun and provocative.





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