Friday, September 15, 2006

Growing Together

Last weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of the first "Growing Together" Conference: A History Center Affiliates Program for Museums and Historical Societies at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (September 10-11).

My participation in the conference and several book signings is one of the reasons I haven't blogged for about a week. The pace was just a bit too hectic and I could not find the time to locate wireless internet access and create a posting.

Now that I am back to my usual routine, I thought my first posting should be about the great relationships I have built with those folks I met at this conference. It was a unique chance to network with those individuals who are involved with museums and historical societies in Western Pennsylvania. The Heinz History Center was the perfect venue for this conference. There were some very informative sessions on Grant Writing, Legal Issues, Caring and Feeding of Volunteers, Designing a Web Site,
Molding Your Message, and more...

My presentation was "Genealogy and Your Organization," which I actually changed to "What Genealogists Want." I plan to blog more on this topic, but briefly, my talk focused on what historical societies can offer today's genealogist, and how genealogists can give back to these organizations by donating their research findings and also their time to help with various preservation projects and other activities. I received many compliments about my presentation and I enjoyed the discussions that ensued with the various participants. We opened up a very important dialogue between members of several different organizations that will hopefully carry forward and enable us to work together in the future to solve common problems and brainstorm ideas.

Kudos to the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center (especially Nancy Cain McCombe) and the Mifflin Township Historical Society (especially my good friend, Dan Burns) who organized this important event and invited me to be a speaker. I hope that this will be the first of many conferences to come, and would be honored to be asked back as a speaker again.

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