MALHM Statement on Legislation to Remove the
State Historic Preservation Office from the Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums (MALHM) is aware of legislation introduced on March 13 in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate to move the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) from the Minnesota Historical Society to the Department of Administration. This move was also included in Governor Dayton’s supplemental budget proposal on March 17. Many of our constituents have raised concern over this action, as has the MALHM Board of Directors.
MALHM has taken action to speak out against this proposed legislation and have sent letters to Governor Dayton, Representative Ecklund, and Senator Bakk requesting an explanation for this legislation. For many in local history throughout Minnesota, the impacts of this legislation could be tremendous. The Heritage Preservation Department, which is comprised of SHPO, Field Services, and Grants, is local history’s main link to the Minnesota Historical Society. By coordinating the efforts of these three units under one department, the local history community can expect an efficient and cooperative operation. We admit that over the years the road has been bumpy in our relationship but we have found ways to work together to fix the potholes and cracked cement on the highway of local history. By working towards a common goal of preserving and sharing the stories of Minnesota’s story, the more than 500 local history organizations and the Heritage Preservation Department have enjoyed many decades of a strong and cordial relationship.
To this end, MALHM is asking our members, our constituents, and our fellow Minnesota History Coalition members to contact Governor Dayton and their local legislators to oppose Senate File 2077 and House File 2366. Let them know how SHPO serves the local history community and by removing it from within the Heritage Preservation Department would be at the detriment of local history in Minnesota. Any correspondence that you receive back, please forward a copy to MALHM Coordinator Marci Matson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and MALHM President Dustin Heckman (email@example.com).
By working together, we can show them how local history matters in Minnesota!
See letters here: Governor Dayton, Representative Ecklund, Senator Bakk
Book now to take advantage of the MALHM discount on rooms at Chase on the Lake in Walker, site of the 2017 MALHM Annual Meeting and Conference. The booking deadline for discounted rooms is April 4; reservations must be made by phone (218-547-7777) by mentioning MALHM. Rates are: $109 for Classic Hotel Rooms, and $119 for Lake View Hotel Rooms.
The Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums, organized in 1991, is a statewide organization that seeks to nurture and encourage an appreciation of Minnesota’s local history by providing a structure to foster professionalism and excellent work among local and specialized historical organizations in Minnesota. The Alliance created the Minnesota History awards in 2008 to honor the excellent work performed in Minnesota’s public history community. Four historians and four history organizations will be honored at the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums Conference on April 27 in Walker, MN.
Lifetime Achievement Awards:
Kathleen Bergan (Gilbert)
Kathleen Bergan began her work with the Iron Range Historical Society in 1986. During that time, she has been editor of quarterly newsletter, published ten books and been a dedicated volunteer. Over her thirty years of service to the Iron Range Historical Society, she inventoried and organized the Society’s collections.
Mark Peihl (Moorhead)
Mark Peihl began his career in local history in 1985 at the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County in Moorhead, MN by volunteering. In 1986, he became their archivist and is responsible for the Historical Society’s photo and manuscript collections, corporate records, and public reference services. He has written multiple articles for the Society’s newsletter and produced over 30 exhibits on Clay County and Minnesota History.
Chris Schuelke (Fergus Falls)
Chris Schuelke has worked at Otter Tail County Historical Society since 1987, when he started as Curator. He has served as executive director since 1989. Among his many accomplishes are creating the Historical Society’s endowment, awarded an American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) award in 2006 for the preservation of the Kaddatz Hotel in Fergus Falls and completed a major renovation of the museum’s Agriculture Wing. Chris Schuelke was a founding member of the MALHM.
Vickie Wendel (Anoka)
Vickie Wendel began at the Anoka County Historical Society in 1986, moving from volunteer to program manager. She was a leading force in the capital campaign for a larger facility which resulted in a new facility that opened in 2002. She has researched and designed exhibits, traveling programs and events for the Historical Society. Vickie is a leader of outreach and created many relationships outside the museum walls. The exhibit, Vietnam: The Veteran’s Experience, was nationally recognized with an award from the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) in 2007.
Minnesota Discovery Center (Chisholm) for their exhibit “Enough! The 1916 Mesabi Range Strike”. This exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Mesabi Range strike. The Minnesota Discovery Center used primary materials and direct quotes to tell the story from all perspectives so the visitor can interpret the story.
Pope County Historical Society (Glenwood) for their documentary “Pope County 150, 1866-2016”. This video was created in celebration of Pope County turning 150. It captures the history and culture of the Pope County community since 1866.
Washington County Historical Society (Stillwater) for their book, “Company K in the Border War: The Stillwater National Guard in Texas 1916”. This book highlights the experiences of the Stillwater National Guard played in defending the Mexican border with the use of letters, photos and local newspapers.
Cokato Museum and Historical Society (Cokato) for their digitization project of the Gust Akerlund Negative Collection. The Cokato Museum and Historical Society digitized 14,019 negatives, the entire collection of Cokato photographer Gust Akerlund ranging from 1902-1950.
The Minnesota History Awards will be presented during the Annual Meeting and luncheon on Thursday, April 26, at Chase on the Lake in Walker and is included in the conference registration fee. The event is open to all; colleagues and friends may register online for the Awards Luncheon (only) option; cost is $20. For more information, please contact MN History Awards Coordinator, Jill Wohnoutka at 320-235-1881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you've been following along on this blog, you've seen some teasers about some of our sessions at the 2017 MALHM Annual Meeting and Conference. After doing some juggling and revising, we now have the full schedule for preview - just keep in mind that the schedule could be subject to last-minute adjustments.
Our conference is growing, from a one-day workshop just a few years ago to a two-track two-day conference to now a three-track two-day conference. For those who want the math, that means we now offer 24 sessions this year compared to 16 at last year's event.
As you can see by the schedule, the conference still offers a variety of programming on all aspects of the history field, but we have expanded the sessions to include topics for people with varying levels of experience.
Our third track on the first day focuses on those new to the profession, such as students or emerging professionals, or those new to the topic; even experienced professionals might need an "Exhibits Graphic Design 101" if they've never created an exhibit before.
The third track on the second day offers sessions for Executive Directors based on feedback from our members. While many executive directors come to the job with a breadth of knowledge about collections and programming, they do not typically receive training in the administrative aspects of running a small nonprofit. We've called upon the Minnesota Association of Volunteer Administration (MAVA) and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, as well as our experienced colleagues, to present sessions in the Executive Director track.
Too bad we can't include time travel in the registration package, because the laws of physics will prevent you from attending more than one session at a time. That's why we offer affordable registration so that multiple people from an organization may attend, either one or both days. See our overview of the conference here or see our Annual Conference page for more information.
Registration is now open for the MALHM Conference, set for April 26-27 in Walker, MN. Register through our new online store. Attendees may also pay with a registration form and check by mail. With either method, attendees can indicate dietary needs, such as vegetarian and gluten free.
Registration deadline is April 10. Chase on the Lake will offer a discount to MALHM attendees who book by phone by April 4. For more information, see our Annual Conference page. If you have additional questions, please contact MALHM Coordinator Marci Matson or Conference Chair Jill Wohnoutka. Look for a full conference schedule soon!