Invest in the Future of the Indiana Historical Society

Give today and your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar to help collect, preserve and present Hoosier history for generations!

Donate Now
Plan Your Visit
Outside View of the Indiana Historical Society Building
Plan your visit
Tuesday through Saturday10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Indiana Experience Admission Free IHS MembersFree Children under 5$9 Adult$8 Seniors 60 and older$5 Youth ages 5 through 17 Free parking with admission in lot off New York.

The Price of Oil and Local History

February 24, 2011

As I was driving down to the Dubois County Museum in Jasper to lead a workshop in strategic planning for local history organizations, I was listening to the radio. The chaos in Libya is causing oil prices to skyrocket. The reports claimed that these unsettling changes in the world may drive gas prices up to $4 or $5 per gallon.

I pulled into a gas station in Martinsville to fill up the IHS van with gas: $55.04 for half a tank. What might an increase in gas prices mean for the work we do in Local History Services? And what will it mean for the historical societies and museums that we work with?

During the workshop, we talked about how to plan given the opportunities and threats that we can?t control: the ever-changing world of social media, the deep funding cuts in local government and the price of gas. Will these local history groups see more visitors, as people look for entertainment and education closer to home, or will they see fewer visitors as schools cut back even further on field trips? Will they be able to harness Facebook, Twitter and the next giant of social media to connect to people near and far, or will they be unable to contend for time attention when their competitors are the History Channel and Who Do You Think You Are? Will they be able to market the realness? of their authentic photographs and objects with an audience that grew up on reality TV?

While I have worries for our local history groups, every time I get to spend an hour or a day with the people who work in them, I always leave hopeful. They are creative, dedicated and passionate. They are willing to learn and ready to work. They are the backbone of our history community and they are ready for the challenge whether they are retired history teachers or recent museum studies graduate students.

I just hope the price of gas won?t prevent me from gaining that inspiration from those face-to-face encounters. Plus, then I would miss out on the local delicacies like sauerkraut and ribs at Schnitzelbank that are my other motivation for spending hours in the IHS van. You can?t taste good food via the Internet.
________________________

Stacy Klingler is assistant director of Local History Services at IHS. Along with the other LHS team members, she travels the state assisting local history organizations. She loves her job because itÕs never the same thing twice, unless she has to make a U-turn at Main Street.

Share this post:
Facebook Comment
Thanks for Reading! If you enjoyed reading our blog, try our InDepth Stories
map of area around IHS location
Drop us a line
Let's talk
Full Staff Directory
Our Hours
ExhibitsOpen 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through SaturdayWilliam H. Smith Memorial LibraryOpen 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through SaturdayHistory MarketOpen 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through SaturdayStardust Terrace Café HoursOpen 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Never miss a story!
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202(317) 232-1882
© 2018 Indiana Historical Society Privacy Policy