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Minnesota Local History News

Published: March 5, 2008

A weekly publication by the Minnesota Historical Society for professional local historians and historical organizations.

Come visit your place in history.

Discussions and Questions

Boy Scout Centennial Traveling Exhibit (new post) The North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting needs your input to shape its new traveling exhibit on the centennial of Boy Scouts of America.

Affinity Groups (new post) As seen in the Minnesota History Interpreter, affinity groups may be crucial to growing use, membership, and donors at local historical organizations. What's your experience?

Learning from Nonprofits (4 new messages) Businesses could learn to preserve their own history better, in addition to valuing the intangibles like meaningful human contact.

Remembering Our Own (1 new message) Larry Sommer recalls many from the Minnesota Historical Society and Jean Chesley's work with the Goodhue County Historical Society.

WANTED: Stories about anemic attendance, flatlined budgets, the migraine of marketing planning, and more. These may be used in a session at AAM. Contact Ann Wilson by March 21, 2008.

WANTED: Traditional Minnesota Songs. The Friends of Fort Snelling Association will publish a Minnesota Heritage Songbook. The book will include songs that were handed down from singer to singer across the generations. If you or your society has old songbooks or broadsides, or other relevant materials in your collection, please contact Robert Waltz.

AVAILABLE: Sherburne County Historical Society wishes to donate two pieces of furniture suitable to a house or church museum:  Eastlake-style walnut Kimball pump organ, plus stool (restored and operable); and, circa 1910 Victor Victrola, original and operable. Contact Bobbie Scott, 763-261-4433.

Job Announcements

MAM Summer Internship Scholarship Program

To support the next generation of museum professionals, the Minnesota Association of Museums offers one $500 scholarship to a summer intern at any qualifying Minnesota museum/cultural organization. This stipend supports a student committed to a rewarding, intensive internship experience as a step towards a career in museums. Application deadline May 15, 2008.

Summer internship in Milwaukee

Milwaukee Public Museum offers a summer internship stipend of $2000 for graduate Museum Studies students.The application deadline is March 7, 2008; notification by March 18, 2008. Direct applications to Dawn Scher Thomae.

Contract Education Coordinator

Minnesota Landmarks seeks a consultant experienced in educational outreach for historical or arts-related programs to develop and implement an educational outreach and marketing program for a buildingwide exhibition, “Uncle Sam Worked Here." Proposals due by March 15, 2008, or until filled. Contact Amy Mino, 651-292-3285.

Local Events

Minnesota's 150 Things

Hot Reads for Cold Nights continues on Saturday March 15 at 10 a.m. in the Red Wing Library’s Foot Room with senior exhibit developer Kate Roberts, author of "Minnesota 150: The People, Places, and Things that Shape Our State." Contact Char Henn, 651-388-6024.

Reaching Past the Wire: A Nurse at Abu Ghraib

On Saturday March 15, 2008, at 1 p.m. hear a special author talk by Deanna Germain, Lieutenant Colonel, USAR (Ret.): "Reaching Past the Wire: A Nurse at Abu Ghraib." This Minnesota River Valley History Round Table is free to all and held at the Treaty Site History Center, at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 169 and State Hwy 22 in St. Peter.


Property taxes for nonprofits

In light of rulings last year, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits continues to work with the legislature to restore a balanced definition for property tax exemption. For those with questions about how recent court rulings may have affected your organization's property tax status, LegalCORPS provides brief phone converstations with lawyers volunteering their time. Also, MCN has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions brief.

Food history resource

A History of Military Rations provides a background to an essential part of the story for service personnel.

Free archives tool online

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter discusses Archon, the new online collections management program built by archivists at the University of Illinois Library.

990-N electronic postcard news

View returned postcards or learn more about this new filing requirement for small nonprofit organizations. As of March 4, 2008, 10 historical organizations in Minnesota are listed as having returned a postcard.

Interpreter online

Read the March/April 2008 Minnesota History Interpreter in color online.

Grant Deadlines

NEH Preservation Assistance Grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities awards grants up to $6,000 on a non-matching basis to support the preservation of materials in collections-holding organizations, including Digitization Training and Consultation. Last year 50% of proposals in this category were funded. Deadline is May 15, 2008.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Local History Services Workshops

"Systems for Success" is the theme, and volunteers and staff of local historical organizations will have the opportunity to discuss, question, and learn about issues with colleagues at the Minnesota Historical Society. Don't miss out on these informative and practical sessions.

Technology Conference

"Message + Medium + Mission" is the theme of Minnesota Council of Nonprofits' technology conference March 27, 2008, at the Marriot City Center, Minneapolis.

Interpretation through technology

American Association of Museum's "Learning in Museums Seminar 2008" will be held June 20-21, 2008, Minneapolis. Learn how new media changes how we perceive, communicate, form our identities, and shape the worlds in which we live.

Disaster Response: The Critical First 48 Hours

Midwest Art Conservation Center in partnership with the Minnesota Association of Museums will present this workshop on Friday May 2, 2008, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis.

Shaping Outcomes

Shaping Outcomes is a five-module instructor-mediated online course for museum and library professionals, based upon Outcomes Based Planning and Evaluation (OBPE), an emerging "best practice" in museum and library studies. It prepares museum staff to plan internal projects and to produce robust design and evaluation plans for grant proposals. IMLS, which funded the development and testing of the course, has now provided support for a 'continuing education' phase. The cost per person (or working group) is $150, with IMLS-provided scholarships for students in organizations serving economically disadvantaged populations.

Field Note

Art often documents history, and using art to tell the stories of your community can resonate with visitors. In one local example, David Geister has portrayed historic artists such as Seth Eastman, George Caitlin, and others. Many historical organizations and authors have used his illustrations to further their stories. How do you make use of art to tell history?

David Geister in costume, self portrait.