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History Folk Meets World

July 25, 2011

One of my favorite TV shows is Boy Meets World. (I?m an old TV show rerun nerd.) It originally ran from 1993 through 2000 and is a coming of age show about what a kid learns from the world around him.

What got me thinking about this was a comment from a recent Local History Services workshop evaluation. The attendee wrote, The format allowed for easy conversation and questions. Lunch together was a nice touch. Humor was appreciated. It was good to hear that the same problems seem universal and are solvable.? Same message in the TV show we all deal with similar issues and can learn from each other.

There are lots of great opportunities for local history organizations to learn from the world around us. Here are a few that come to mind:

  • Visit another group tour neighboring museums and find some ideas that you can adapt to your situation. Attend programs from other groups and steal a pre-tested idea. Invite someone from another local history group out to lunch and chat about common challenges.
  • Attend an In Your Neighborhood meeting the IYN meetings are a great chance to meet other local history folks from your neighborhood. If you don?t yet know your history neighbors, these meetings are a great reason to get acquainted.
  • Talk with someone from a different local organization about how you might partner or work together. Could you do an exhibit with a church to celebrate their centennial? What about working with the Boys and Girls Club on a joint kids program?
  • Attend a workshop Local History Services offers workshops throughout the year. Most of the workshops are outside the Indianapolis metro area so there will be a workshop near you soon.
  • Attend a conference the Association of Indiana Museums and the American Association for State and Local History are both holding conferences in September 2011. AIM in Richmond, Ind. and AASLH in Richmond, Va. Check out their websites for more information.

I?ll be at both Richmonds in September to meet the world. I hope to see some of you there.


Jeff Harris is director of Local History Services. He constantly travels the state for his job, giving him the opportunity to pursue his dream of finding the perfect mashed potatoes.

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