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Master Local Historian: AASLH Launches Historian Training Program for the Public

by Amber Mitchell, Education and Service Coordinator, AASLH on

A photograph of the Tennessee State Library and Archives building taken on July 17, 1956, a few short years after it opened in 1953.
State Library and Archives Agency Photographs

AASLH is proud to announce that we have been awarded a grant from Humanities Tennessee to pilot our newest program, Master Local Historians.

The Master Local Historians project is a training program that highlights the relevance of historical inquiry for the general public and provides people with an opportunity to hone their historical research, writing, and interpretation skills. Participants will learn the basic tools and methods of the craft of history to better understand, and even explain, the world around them. By the end of the course, they will have a greater appreciation for the work of public history and be better able to assist history organizations in a variety of ways.

This project is funded by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in-kind matching support from AASLH.

History—both knowledge of the past and the practice of researching and making sense of what happened in the past—is crucially important to the wellbeing of individuals, communities, and the future of our nation. On a state-by-state, community-by-community basis, people are figuring out what history means in the context of today. AASLH continually evaluates the opportunities history organizations have to employ history’s essential role in nurturing personal identity, teaching critical skills, helping to provide vital places to live and work, stimulating economic development, fostering engaged citizens, inspiring leadership, and providing a legacy. The Master Local Historians program is one such opportunity.

In the beginning stages of this project, AASLH has pulled together a team of national and Tennessee humanities scholars and advisors to review existing materials from similar programs and map a framework for a Master Local Historian program. This includes a curriculum that focuses on the basics of the historical profession, with three of those basics being piloted by partner organizations in West, Middle, and East Tennessee, including the Morton Museum of Collierville History, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, and the East Tennessee History Center. After the completion of a successful piloting period, AASLH plans to seek funding to launch the Master Local Historians program nationally.

Morton Museum of Collierville History

(Read a local news profile on the Morton Museum of Collierville History ‘s involvement in this project, featuring an interview with museum director Brooke Mundy.) 

The institutions will host the workshops in winter 2017/2018. AASLH will evaluate the individual sessions and the success of the program as a whole and in 2018 begin to create the full Master Local

 Historian curriculum based on the Tennessee pilots. The program highlights the continued relevance of history, a major theme of AASLH strategic plan since 2016.

AASLH is proud to have the following people serve as Humanities Scholars on this project, including Dr. Lorraine McConaghy (Public Historian), Myers Brown (Tennessee State Library and Archives), Dr. Carroll Van West (Tennessee State Historian), Adam Alfrey (East Tennessee History Center), Dr. Larry Cebula (Public Historian), Dr. Teresa Church (Public Historian), Dr. Jay Price (Public Historian), Brooke Mundy (Collierville Museum of History), Steve Murray (Alabama Department of Archives and History), Stuart Sanders (Kentucky Historical Society), Dr. C. Brendan Martin (MTSU) and Local Historians: Betsy Millard (Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum), Carol Kammen (Tompkins County (NY) Historian), and Beverly Tyler (Three Village Historical Society).

For more information about Master Local Historians, and other Continuing Education opportunities, contact Amber Mitchell at Mitchell@aaslh.org.

 

East Tennessee History Center

For more information about Master Local Historians, and other Continuing Education opportunities, contact Amber Mitchell at Mitchell@aaslh.org.

2 Responses to “Master Local Historian: AASLH Launches Historian Training Program for the Public”

  1. September 18, 2017 at 7:37 pm, AASLH President and CEO’s Address 2017 | AASLH Blogs said:

    […] to a grant from Humanities Tennessee, we are piloting a Master Local Historians project at three Tennessee history institutions. We hope to make the program national in a couple […]

    Reply

  2. October 13, 2017 at 6:32 pm, AASLH President and CEO’s Address 2017 | AASLH said:

    […] to a grant from Humanities Tennessee, we are piloting a Master Local Historians project at three Tennessee history institutions. We hope to make the program national in a couple […]

    Reply

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