County and Borough Historians’ Institute
August 24th, 2018
New York State Museum
222 Madison Avenue
Goal—The County and Borough Historian’s Institute is a free learning opportunity for County and Borough Historians hosted by the Office of Cultural Education and facilitated by the New York State Historian, the Association of Public Historians of New York State and the New York State Archives. The goal of the Institute is to bring together the County and Borough Historians to provide an opportunity for facilitated open discussion on a variety of topics relevant to their work and their role as their county or borough’s lead historian. The hope is that the County and Borough Historians will, in turn, take what they have learned from the session facilitators and their peers back to their local municipal historians
Schedule, Session Topics and Facilitators
9:00am-9:30am—Registration, coffee, snacks—Huxley Theater
9:30am-9:45am—Program begins. Welcome remarks will be given by NYS Historian Devin Lander and APHNYS Board President Rosemarie Tucker—Huxley Theater
9:45am-11:00pm— Women’s Suffrage: A Case Study on Using Local Historical Materials:
The history of suffrage in New York State is very much a history of actions of local individuals and county suffrage leagues. This session will explore where to look for sources including press coverage of local events, documents, photographs and other ephemera available to all of us, if you know where to look and what to look for in your local community. New York State’s long history of suffrage, which began in earnest after the Civil War and lasted until the 1970s, encompassed five generations of activists and we need to tell their stories! Primary sources document those for and against women’s suffrage and the larger civic and public role women played after women achieve the right to vote here on November 6, 1917. We will focus on the many questions that emerged following 1917, including how other reform movements were infused with the energy, organizational and promotional skills honed by the Women’s Suffrage movement, from the New Deal to the present. By the 1970s, federal law decreed that juries reflect the community, making jury service mandatory for all citizens regardless of race or gender. We will discuss questions important on the county level and how primary sources document these larger state, national, and international issues.
Carol Kammen, Tompkins County Historian
Sarah Johnson, Putnam County Historian
11:00am-12:15pm— Records Accessibility 101: When Are Records Off-Limits?
This panel will discuss records management best practices when it comes to public accessibility of records. When should certain records be “off-limits” to the public? What does the law say and what does it mean?
Robert Freeman, Esq., Director, NYS Committee on Open Government
Jim Folts, Head of Researcher Services NYS Archives
Will Tatum, Dutchess County Historian
Matt Urtz, Madison County Historian (co-moderator)
Lauren Roberts, Saratoga County Historian (co-moderator)
1:00pm-2:00pm—Writing History for a General Audience Workshop
As historians, writing is our primary mode of communicating the value of our research. This session will consider strategies for local and regional historians to successfully bring their research to a larger audience through writing. How can we structure a narrative to appeal to a reader outside of our region? How can we relate the people, places, and events of our story to the larger historical context? Participants will learn some practical ways to address these questions to maximize the impact of their work.
Josie Madison, Editor, New York Archives Magazine
Michael McGandy, Senior Editor, Cornell University Press
2:00pm-3:15pm—Historians Teaching the Future: Reaching Students and Teachers
This panel will provide historians with a variety of informational tools for engaging with students and their teachers on historical projects including History Day and the NYS Archives Student Research Award program, and other ways to cultivate interest in local and state history with the next generation.
Stephanie Miller, Capital Region Coordinator, NYS History Day
Jessica Maul, Assistant Director of Education and Development, NYS Archives Partnership Trust
Kathy Sheehan, Rensselaer County Historian
Amber Quinn, Social Studies Teacher
Devin Lander, NYS Historian (moderator)
3:15pm-4:30pm—The Modern Multi-Media Historian
This panel discussion brings together historians who have completed successful projects in various forms of media. Each panelist will describe their project, the challenges, and how they succeeded. Each of these projects can be accomplished in other places and utilize a variety of models.
Lauren Roberts, Saratoga County Historian—discussing her documentary film project Harnessing Nature: Building the Great Sacandaga
Johanna Yaun, Orange County Historian—discussing how historians can successfully utilize social media
Steve McErleane, New Netherland Institute—discussing his work as co-host (with Russell Shorto) of the podcast New Netherland Praatjes
Devin Lander, NYS Historian (moderator)