Welcome to the Conference of California Historical Societies!

The mission of the Conference of California Historical Societies is the preservation of California History by unifying and strengthening Historical Organizations throughout the State.

JOIN/RENEW CCHS Membership for 2019: 

It is time NOW to make your commitment to CCHS!

We thank you for your support and we look forward to working with you in the coming year!

Your membership will help us continue to meet the needs of Californians who care about and protect our state’s history! Click on the Membership tab on the above navigational bar to make your membership type selection.

For detailed information on the exciting events for 2019 and the accomplishments from 2018, please click on the President's Letter (left).




History of Conference of California Historical Societies

Conference of California Historical Societies was founded  in 1954 as a federation of historical societies, museums, libraries, and other history-oriented groups and individuals with a common appreciation and love of history. 

CCHS helps historians, and others who are interested in history, to connect and share information -- joining efforts to preserve records, artifacts, sites, and buildings. This website is the gateway into joining this unique endeavor with other passionate individuals and groups throughout California. The network of sharing is in place and ready for your involvement. 

CCHS also helps local societies and small museums with skills in management, acquisition, preservation, and restoration techniques. Through its extensive series of workshops and annual meetings, CCHS is delivering what you need to be successful.

Join us in continuing our legacy. Become a member!


Get started now on 2018-2019 entries!

Awards of Merit in seven categories are presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference of California Historical Societies each June. These awards recognize outstanding accomplishments of individuals and organizations serving the interests of CCHS.

The nomination deadline for the awards is Wednesday, March 27, 2019.  NEW!  For your convenience, the Nomination Form is now fillable.  Simply type into each space and save.  You may email or print out the form and submit the completed CCHS Award of Merit Nomination Form to John Shea at johnshea23@ca.rr.com.  Any changes in nomination deadline will be posted here.



2018 - 2019 Awards Committee

John Shea, Chair

Irene Almeida

Barbara Kimball


Please Note: The "media" category for the Awards of Merit which began three years ago includes Best Newsletter, Website, etc.

****** Reminder: Don’t wait until the last minute to start work on the entries. ******

Deadline: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - Give yourself at least six weeks to develop your nomination. 

Question(s): Ask Committee Chair John Shea at johnshea23@ca.rr.com


The CCHS 2018 Annual Meeting was held in the Chatsworth/Burbank area (Southern California) on June 21-23, 2018.  There was plenty of activities to take advantage of: Annual Meeting Reception; Special Speaker Luncheon: Brian Dervin Dillon (author/ historian/lecturer), the Irish Paradise; Workshops on Volunteer Recruitment - Allison Bruesehoff (Executive Director of Rancho Los Cerritos Historical Site) and Fundraising and Grant Writing - Julie Dobrick (Senior Grant Writer of AltaMed Health Service Corporation); Tours to the Mission San Fernando de Espana, Nethercutt Museum and Valley Relics; History Fair; and time to network and share history with other from all over California. The business of CCHS was conducted with the Regional Vice President's, Board of Director's, and General Membership Meetings. Special thanks to our event sponsors: Chatsworth Historical Society and Dan Rael of CatalogIt (CatalogIt is a modern, multi-user application for cataloging, managing and engaging with your museum collections on mobile and desktop devices and computers.)

[Group photo in front of the Nethercutt Museum]


As usual, the Awards Luncheon was the concluding activity and definitely a highlight. CCHS was honored to present awards to 11 Awardees: Individual Awards: Donna Howell (Placer County Historical Society/Placer County Historical Foundation), Gretchen Winfrey (Kern-Antelope Historical Society), William Horst (Porterville Historical Society), Joe Molter (Jedidiah Smith Society), Rosemarie Lippman (Covina Valley Historical Society); Preservation Awards: Dr. Don Stover (Porterville Historical Museum) and the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (SHHAR); Scholarship Award: John P. Schmal (author/lecturer); Special Award: Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation (Kern County); Waddingham/Doctor Awards: Bonnie Ketterl Kane (Ridge Route Communities Museum and Historical Society) and Sergeant Trooper Charlie Brown (New Buffalo Soldiers). Thanks to the CCHS 2017-2018 Awards Committee: John Shea (Chair), Irene Almeida, Barbara Kimball, and Daniel Munoz for their efforts. "We encourage CCHS members to nominate worthy people in their respective societies." 2018-2019 Awards information will be available in the Fall 2018. 

The new roster of elected CCHS officers include Therese Melbar - President, Allison Bruesehoff - 1st Vice President, Ann Shea - 2nd Vice President (special appointment), John Shea - Treasurer, Barbara Kimball - Secretary, and Andrea Blachman - Past President.

[Swearing-In photo: Presided by Past President Ann Shea, Lt to Rt: Allison Bruesehoff, Therese Melbar and Andrea Blachman, including John Shea (not in picture)]


For those of you who couldn't attend, we missed you and would like for you to get ready for its return in June 2019 (Northern California). It is definitely worth it!  CLICK HERE for a revisit of the 2018 information.  THANK YOU for your continued support and whether it is our Annual Meeting or one of our workshops, we hope to see you at one of our events this year!



Donna Howell was honored by a Placer County Board of Supervisors Commendation on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 for her many years of public service in behalf of Placer County history (over 15,000 hours.) The initiating statement in the Commendation referenced CCHS by the following words "... In the Matter of a Commendation Recognizing Donna Howell As the Recipient of the Conference of California Historical Societies Individual Award for Outstanding Generosity and Dedication to California History..."

Kris Payne, represented CCHS at the ceremony, approaching the BOS podium to express his pleasure at being present at the BOS item of honor and how important Donna's contribution was to CCHS and her community. Kris had received the Award of Merit in behalf of Donna at the CCHS Awards Luncheon as she could not attend.




Another successful NHD California State Finals were held on May 5-6, 2018 @ William Jessup University, Rocklin, CA. This year's theme was Conflict and Compromise in History. For information, visit the NHD/California website and to find more information, visit the National website. Also, check out the latest postings on Facebook and Twitter.                      

"NHD is a year-long educational program that encourages students to explore local, state, national, and world history." *Engaging students and teachers in historical research & skills development* Remember Volunteers are always needed and appreciated. So get involved!

The 2018-2019 theme is Triumph & Tragedy in History. The intentional selection of the theme for NHD is to provide an opportunity for students to push past the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding.

 The NHD competition has two divisions based on school grade.
• Junior Division — grades 6, 7, and 8
• Senior Division — grades 9, 10, 11, and 12
Entries in each division are judged separately at all levels of competition.



We hope you agree that CCHS serves a important role in perpetuating California history. If you are an individual that loves California history or a member of a historical group, please consider joining the CCHS effort. Your membership will help advance our programs and help us preserve California’s rich past. Your favorable decision to join us will result in you acquiring benefits available only to members. If your ready to join our family, click our Membership tab at the top of the page or click here to join.

If your still not sure about joining,  follow our program on social media. Use our Facebook page, follow our Twitter feeds, or click here and you will be added to our mailing list. We believe that you are important and wish to find out more about your interests. Stay active! Stay passionate!


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