2014 History Skills Workshops

register for a workshopThese training opportunities help historical organizations and interested history advocates gain skills that can be applied in museums, organizations, and personal collections.

  • Workshops are held from 9 a.m. to noon at the HSM Main Office at 5815 Executive Dr., Lansing, Michigan.
  • If you are a personal member of HSM or represent an organization that itself is a member of the Society, registration is $39.
  • Registration for non-members is $79 and includes a one-year HSM membership.
  • Refreshments and materials are included with your registration. Lunch is on your own.

To register for a workshop, use our secure online registration form
or call (800) 692-1828.



July 25

Basic Film Preservation

by Tressa Graves, Film Preservationist
Does someone in your institution know how to identify film formats? From Super 8 to extremely rare film formats, most institutions have moving image films in their collections. In this session, the speaker will discuss how to properly preserve these difficult collections so there can be wider patron access. Topics discussed will include film handling; identification of film stocks and gauges; film decay; storage and environment; how to set up, buy materials, and view film on a film bench; digitization; cataloging; and many more topics.

August 8

Digitizing Collections: Basic

by Portia Vescio, Michigan State University Archives
Digitization projects can seem overwhelming to small and/or volunteer-run history sites. The speaker will discuss technology and best practices associated with digitizing paper and photograph collections. A step-by-step approach for organizations with limited resources will presented. This workshop is meant for organizations still in the planning stages of a digitization project.

August 22

Digitizing Collections: Advanced

by Portia Vescio, Michigan State University Archives
This session has been developed for participants who either have taken the basic digitization workshop or are working with organizations already involved with a digitization project. Topics will include standards, equipment, metadata, and sources.

September 5

Exploring Your Family History for Beginners

by Cynthia Grostick, Michigan Genealogical Council
This session introduces the study of family history. Participants will become familiar with basic concepts of research, including identifying and locating sources, categories of sources, and organizing information. The workshop is designed to give participants a systematic approach to researching their family history.

September 12

Basic Archives

by Kristen Chinery, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University
Designed for small organizations that struggle with how to preserve and organize archival materials in their collections, this workshop will discuss proper storage and handling of collections, basic arrangement techniques, and affordable solutions for supplies and enclosures.

October 3

Grant Writing for Special Projects

by Tamara Barnes, Historical Society of Michigan
This workshop will look at the applications of three granting agencies—a local corporate community-giving program, the Michigan Humanities Council Project Grant, and the Heritage Preservation Conservation Assessment Program—to show how small museums and historical organizations can fund programming, planning, and collections projects by utilizing resources at local, state, and national levels. (Brick-and-mortar grants will not be covered.)

October 17

Advanced Archives

by Deborah Rice, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University
This archives workshop is designed for participants who have some experience working with archival materials and have already gained a basic understanding of archival principals. Participants will learn advanced skills in how to rehouse a variety of items, including various ephemera and scrapbooks. The speaker will also go into greater detail in terms of cataloging large collections from a single donor and creating basic finding aids.

November 7

Planning and Conducting Oral History Projects

by Geneva Kebler Wiskemann, Michigan Oral History Association
Those looking to start an oral history project will not want to miss this workshop presented by representatives of the Michigan Oral History Association. The session will cover the process of identifying interviewees, developing questionnaires, and conducting interviews. A follow-up workshop will examine best practices in preserving these oral histories and making them accessible to the public.


November 21

Preserving and Cataloging Oral History Projects

by Dean Rehberger, Michigan State University MATRIX
Completing the interviews for an oral history project is a major accomplishment, but it is not the final step by any means. Dean Rehberger is Director of MATRIX, a digital humanities center, at Michigan State University. He specializes in developing online research applications and educational resources. Participants of this workshop will understand the importance of properly cataloging and storing oral histories so that they can be accessible for future researchers. Organizations embarking on an oral history project, as well as those with boxes of old audio and video tapes, will want to attend this informative program.


December 5

Developing Exhibit Content

by Tamara Barnes, Historical Society of Michigan
What makes an exhibit communicate successfully, and how do museums present concepts so they are relevant and compelling to visitors? For those interested in expanding their knowledge beyond exhibit fabrication, Barnes will delve into exhibit research and the development of cohesive narratives using objects and images. Organizations with changing exhibit areas are especially encouraged to attend.

Refunds will not be issued for cancellations less than one week before each workshop. Your registration fee can be transferred to another workshop in the series within one year of the date of your original workshop registration.

History Skills Workshops Registration Form


Historical Society of Michigan 5815 Executive Drive Lansing, MI 48911
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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