About this station
At the Local History Station, contributors are invited to consult with local history and thematic experts about the town or theme of the Mass. Memories Road Show event. The goal of the Local History Station is to continue the exchange of historical information going on at the event, to provide opportunities for people to share resources and learn about contributors’ materials. At this station, local history stakeholders–including librarians, historical society curators, collectors, town clerks, historians, archivists, and genealogists–work together to create an engaging display of local or thematic historical resources.
Your core responsibility at the Local History Station is to provide information on the community’s history and assist in identifying local photos. That said, specific activities will vary according to the resources and goals of a community’s local history and thematic experts, and you will work in a small group to decide what to include. Together you may find it helpful to consider your community’s resources and what you’d all like to achieve. With the right amount of work, the Local History Station can be a two-way exchange between the Volunteers and the contributors.
With this in mind, your goals for the Local History Station are to:
- Invite contributors to explore local history resources
- Help contributors learn more about their photographs and family history
- Share interpretive displays, books, and other materials
- Flag unique material and larger collections for possible donation to a local organization
Supplies needed at the Preservation Station:
- One 6-8’ table
- 2 chairs for staff
- Brief history of the town
- Other relevant local history information (books, maps, etc.)
How it works
Let’s take a closer look at how the Local History Station works!
Section 1 of 4: Invite contributors to explore
As a Local History Station Volunteer, one of your responsibilities is to invite contributors to explore local history resources. Successful strategies from past Road Shows include:
- Presenting primary sources (city directories, photographs, deeds, etc.) documenting the community’s history
- Creating a “Who’s who?” display of historical photographs from local collections that are in need of identification with contributors invited to help
- Producing a list and brochures of historic sites and resources in the town
Section 2 of 4: Help contributors learn more
Another primary responsibility of a Local History Station Volunteer is to help contributors learn more about their photographs and family history. You will do this primarily by helping to identify the people or places in contributors’ local photographs.
Section 3 of 4: Share interpretive materials
Another responsibility of a Local History Station Volunteer is to share interpretive displays, books, and other materials. Successful strategies from past Road Shows include:
- Hosting an “interactive” timeline, where contributors can look at a timeline of their community’s history and add personal events to the larger narrative with sticky notes
- Hosting an “interactive” map, where contributors are invited to identify places of significance to them
- Displaying interpretive exhibits exploring the history of a community or theme
- Distributing a written history of local community
Section 4 of 4: Flag material and collections
Your final responsibility as a Local History Station Volunteer is to flag unique material and larger collections for possible donation to a local organization. Some contributors come to Road Show events with many more photographs than could be digitized on the day of the event. Many of these photographs may align with collecting policies and activities of local libraries and museums. The Local History Station can provide an opportunity for contributors and these institutions to meet and explore possibilities for working together.
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