Hear from experts in the field on fascinating historical topics and gain new strategies and tools to help you with the “nuts and bolts” of running your historical society.  Follow the History Track or the Skills Track, based on your preferences and needs. Or, mix and match, based on your interests. 

Friday Workshops

10:30am - 11:45am

California's 1868 Earthquake
Richard Schwartz, Writer and Historian

Did you ever wonder what it was like to be in the largest known earthquake unleashed on the Hayward Fault?  Explore first-hand accounts of people who lived through the October 21, 1868 Hayward Fault Earthquake.  The severity of the damage will haunt you: Fissures opened in the earth, beds flew from one side of a room to the other and back, people in some locations fell and were unable to rise for the duration of the quake. Damage and deaths occurred around the bay.  Photos, illustrations and newspapers will illuminate the history in the Bay Area before, during, and after the event and reveal the cultural changes that occurred because of this quake.

Exhibition Management
Todd Shulman, Founder and President, Napa Police Historical Society

Mounting an exhibition can be a daunting task.  However, it can also be a rewarding way to increase awareness of your group’s identity and collections. This session will provide a very broad overview of the exhibition planning and management process, from conceptualization, to creation, to evaluation. Attendees will leave with a list of available resources and a renewed interest in exhibiting their group’s artifacts and documents.

Thinking Like an Archivist Part I: Where Should We Start?
Lauren Lassleben, Archivist, The Bancroft Library

This session will cover such topics as establishing an archival collecting policy for your institution, surveying records in the field, donor relations, the importance of using deeds of gift, gaining intellectual and physical control of new collections, how to handle various record formats, the difference between organizational records and personal papers, and what basic record-keeping procedures are needed when a collection is received. 

1:45pm - 3:00pm 

San Francisco's Landmarks - The Real History Revealed
Catherine Accardi, Author and Historian

This will not be the traditional story of San Francisco’s city, state, and national landmarks.  Of course, San Francisco is one of the most recognized and beloved cities in the United States, and is a city brilliantly illustrated through a visual history of over 400 designated landmarks.  However, there are many hidden tales behind some of these landmarks, including fascinating urban legends and intriguing secrets, all waiting to be told.  Using over 150 historic, vintage images of San Francisco landmarks from private collections and local and national archives, explore the back stories that will make San Francisco even more intriguing!

Thinking Like an Archivist: What Are the Next Steps?
Lauren Lassleben, Archivist, The Bancroft Library

This session will include such topics as establishing archival storage and work space, buying and using archival storage supplies, doing initial research before working on a collection, various levels of archival processing, the minimal amount of processing needed before a collection can be opened for research, some strategies for dealing with an archival backlog, preservation issues, potential privacy issues and restrictions, and archival ethics.

Using Newspapers as Source Material
Richard Schwartz, Writer and Historian

This session will address how to research history utilizing old newspapers as primary source materials. Learn how to perform the research, how to quickly navigate a particular newspaper, how to organize your finds, document them, and use your research time efficiently.  Explore the great values of using information found in newspapers as well as any possible suspect aspects of this material. Address both the minute information and the many unconscious cultural traits that can be gleaned from a newspaper and the surprise wells of information that can be found by accident. Learn how information and reporting met the needs of the reader and newspaper companies of the day and how those needs have changed over time - as well as how newspaper research methods have dramatically changed over the past twenty years. 

Saturday Workshops

2:00pm - 3:15pm

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
Beverly Lane, Director, East Bay Regional Park District and BriAnna Weldon, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

The Anza Trail commemorates, protects, marks, and interprets the route of the Anza Expedition of 1775-76, which established San Francisco and accelerated the colonization of California. The Anza Trail provides an excellent opportunity for local historical societies to convey the quintessentially American story of migration, diversity, family, sacrifice, and change set in the historical setting of Spanish California. Communities along the 1,200 mile historic trail corridor share the story uniquely, such as the final destination of the expedition, the Presidio of San Francisco, which interprets the trail in exhibits and through programming along the recreational trail. This session will highlight ways to share the story of the Anza Trail and feature this history in local communities as well as share examples of successful trail interpretation.

The Basics of Board Governance
John Curtis, President, Martinez Historical Society

Following good governance principles greatly enhances the effectiveness of a board.  Learn about basic board responsibilities, the role of individual board members and how a typical non-profit board should be organized and structured.  Identify techniques for preparing an agenda for a board meeting as well as how to conduct the meeting so that the essential topics are covered efficiently and in a reasonable period of time.  Examples of interesting, real-life board practices will be discussed which have been successful – or problematic – in a variety of actual organizations.

Volunteers in Time: Oral History and Community Involvement
Tom Zamaria, Martinez Historical Society

Explore the Martinez Oral History Project and learn about its origin, objectives and procedures.  As a small local historical society, the budget for the Martinez Oral History Project was limited - learn how the engagement of volunteers, members and the community helped to bring the project alive (despite a small budget), and assisted in capturing Martinez's rich local history.

3:30pm - 4:45pm

FDR's New Deal Projects in Berkeley and Beyond
Harvey Smith, President, National New Deal Preservation Association

Like the heritage of the New Deal throughout the United States, Berkeley’s 1930s and early 1940s New Deal structures and projects left a lasting legacy of utilitarian and beautiful infrastructure. These public buildings, schools, parks, and artworks helped shape the city and thus the lives of its residents; it is hard to imagine Berkeley without them.  The artists and architects of these projects mention several themes: working for the community, responsibility, the importance of government support, collaboration, and creating a cultural renaissance. These New Deal projects, however, can be called “hidden history” because their legacies have been mostly ignored and forgotten. Comprehending the impact of the New Deal on one American city is only possible when viewed within the context of the nationwide achievements of the FDR administration. More than history, this period is relevant to today’s social, political, and economic realities. The times may again call for comprehensive public policy that reaches Main Street.

Dealing with Fire Marshals, Building Officials and the Historic Building Code
Robert Marshall, Fire Marshal, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District

Learn about the California historic building code and how it is applied by local building and fire officials. Get tips on how to communicate with code officials, how to accomplish the things you would like to accomplish while being code compliant, as well as how to appeal decisions by code officials.

The State of Historical Societies
John Lenau, President and Ben Wirick, Administrator, Conference of California Historical Societies

Explore the State of Historical Societies Report to identify how historical societies are performing statewide, from small, volunteer-led historical societies, to large million dollar organizations.  Discuss the implications of the report's findings and identify specific recommendations that can help your historical society grow in the coming years. 

Workshop topics subject to change.



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published this page in 2015 Annual Meeting 2015-04-09 17:49:11 -0700
Conference of California Historical Societies
Bringing together California's historical community to share California's heritage, learn from one another and strengthen our communities.