The promise of remembrance is the work of commemoration, the responsibility to mark and search for the meanings of our ancestors’ achievements and afflictions. Their monuments and moments are the promise they left to us to build the next generation of new beginnings. The 2011 American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting will be held in Richmond, Virginia, one of the most history-rich cities in our nation; a city that holds outstanding opportunities to experience commemorative sites, spaces, and collections that are key pieces of our nation’s memory—the proud, the conflicted, and the complex realities that call us to “do” history. Here is the opportunity, at the time of the 150th anniversary of our nation’s Civil War and the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to engage in fresh and candid conversations from the banks of the beautiful James River.


Session Audio: 

Keynote Address: Adam Goodheart

Plenary Address: Dorothy Cotton

Banquet Speaker: Edward Ayers

How Does Commemoration Impact American Memory?

Connecting to Collections: Tools You Can Use

Advocacy for History Organizations 2011

Connecting to Information: How Does Your Institution Measure Up?

Connecting to the Public: Advocacy for Collections Care

The End of PowerPoint

Developing Leaders @SHA: How You Can Prepare

Microphilanthropy: Microgiving, Crowdfunding, and New Models of Fundraising

Achieving Board Excellence

Connecting to the Future: Statewide Disaster Preparedness Planning

Hands-On vs. Hands-Off: The Rembrandt Rule Revisited

No Idea is Too Ridiculous

Responding to History in the Making

Programming for Pivotal Moments in History

Immigration, Civil Rights, and Public Memory

Activating Places of Memory

Transforming Organizations Through Community Involvement



Each year, anyone registered for the Online Conference can virtually attend six hot topic sessions, plus hear from featured speakers. Each session is broadcast live from the Annual Meeting. All presentations have been reworked for a live audience. See slides, ask questions, and interact online with presenters and the virtual audience in these live broadcasts.


Do’s and Don’ts of Working with Private Collectors and Researchers

Private collectors and researchers visiting your museum often seem to be time-consuming and unwanted distractions. This session will present proven methods used by four veteran curators and one veteran collector for turning these visitors into an invaluable resource for collections work, exhibits, publishing, and advertising for your institution.

Beyond Numbers: What Does Success Look Like?

Success is often defined by attendance and the bottom line, but are these the best measures of performance? This session continues the conversation begun at the Kykuit Forum on the merits and pitfalls of metrics, identifying quantitative and qualitative measures of success, and the challenges of implementation, especially at small organizations.

Adopting Technology: Challenges and Predictions

Staying current with technology is a daunting prospect. It requires careful thought and tough decisions. Panelists and audience discuss the challenges and constraints of technology adoption and consider new technologies on the horizon. Special emphasis is given to the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report, 2010 Museum Edition.

Closing a House Museum: From Lemons to Lemonade

If you are considering closing a historic house or already have made the decision, this session is for you. Learn how to turn this potential public relations, preservation, and legal nightmare into a successful preservation solution. Explore the legal considerations and offer practical steps/options for sites and their collections.


How Do You Use the Collection at Your Historic House?

Historic house museums and historic sites are focusing the needs of their visitors now more than ever. This roundtable discussion attempts to find balance between engaging interpretation and collections care and safety. Explore challenges, strategies, and solutions from our own historic sites, encourage discussion, and build relationships and professional connections in the process.


History News:

Public History and the Challenges of Commemoration 



American Association for State and Local History Announces 2011 Award Winners

Working with Private Collectors and Researchers


Other Resources:

Small Museums, Big Impact (video of conference session)