Archive for March, 2012

Blue Star Museum Program

March 31, 2012

Via AASLH e-mail blast:

Join with the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families and become a Blue Star Museum by providing free admission to active duty military personnel and their families between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  

  • If you join before April 30, 2012 your museum will be listed on the Blue Star Museums website and in any other publicity materials produced by the Blue Star Museum program. 
  •  In other words, Blue Star Museums can provide a local museum a national platform to showcase your outreach to the military community.  And since Beaufort County is home to 3 military bases, this might be a very nice gesture of civilian-military cooperation if some of you could get approval of the administration/board of your institutions. – gmc

To learn more about the program and to register, click


AASLH Victim of Staff Fraud

March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012

Dear Friends and Family of AASLH,

Shortly before the Annual Meeting last September in Richmond, AASLH staff discovered alarming financial irregularities. Authorities were immediately notified, and staff began the time-consuming process of supporting an intensive criminal investigation. Although the District Attorney’s office constrained communications during the investigation, we were authorized to report to the membership at the Annual Meeting that the organization was the victim of apparent fraud and that no current staff members were suspected.

We anticipated that the criminal investigation would conclude by Thanksgiving and that we would then be able to brief members more fully, although civil litigation would likely ensue. The criminal investigation, however, has just concluded in the arrest today of Risa Woodward and her husband, Jim Woodward, charging them with ten counts of fraud against AASLH totaling $730,315.25, that began in 2007. Risa had been employed at AASLH since 1991 and served as financial manager since 1994, stepping down last August. The shock and sense of betrayal, the hurt and anger have been palpable.

Since discovery of the fraud in September, Council has met eight times, and the Executive Committee thrice, to keep abreast of developments and their impact and to help keep AASLH on track. The programs that distinguish AASLH have not been affected, nor has staffing. We have estimated the adverse cash flow impact and adopted strategies to address the shortfall. Financial controls and oversight have been strengthened in numerous ways, and accountability has been addressed by Council. Forensic accountants helped to pinpoint the means and amount of the loss. Legal counsel will pursue every possible recourse to make AASLH whole, although, of course, that will take some time.

We look forward to being able to share more information as the legal proceedings permit, but we are relieved at last to be able to report, to you who are the heart and soul of AASLH, the conclusion of the criminal investigation. Please know that AASLH staff and your Council are working hard to sustain AASLH’s effectiveness.

With your support, we will see this vital national association of history organizations and committed professionals and volunteers through this challenging time.

D. Stephen Elliott, Council Chair, AASLH
Director and CEO, Minnesota Historical Society


Free Live Chat Webinar: Introduction to LED Lighting

March 27, 2012

Join Rick Kerschner, Director of Preservation and Conservation, and Nancie Ravenel, Objects Conservator on Thursday, March 29 at 1:00 pm eastern in the virtual meeting room for practical tips and tricks on safely and effectively using LEDs to highlight your collections.  Details at

If you haven’t joined a C2C Live Chat webinar yet, you can click here before the webinar to run a tech check on your system.

***New Live Chat events will be announced via email and on the C2C Online Community’s website soon!***

HBF Announcements

March 21, 2012

HBF Dinner & A Lecture Series Continues

The Spanish American War: More Than a Run Up a Hill will be the topic of Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Dinner & a Lecture, Monday, March 26, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., at the Verdier House, 801 Bay Street. The lecture is part of a kick-off for a new exhibit at the Verdier House, “Fort Fremont: Homeland Security 1898” being sponsored by the Friends of Fort Fremont.

Dr. Mark Barnes, retired historian and senior archaeologist with the National Park Service will use period photography, illustrations, and images collected during research on an annotated bibliography of the 1898 War with Spain and the Philippine Insurrection, to discuss the conflict, its outcome, and some aspects from this war which are still with the United States of the present.

The largely-forgotten 100-day conflict touched Beaufort County with the construction and occupation of Fort Fremont on St. Helena Island and, according to Barnes, contributed to healing hard feelings remaining after the Civil War. The hospitality of the Charleston people to the northern National Guard troops was reported all across the nation.

Barnes’ lecture is a feature of the new Verdier House exhibit on Fort Fremont which opens to the public Friday, March 23. He will discuss the participation of South Carolina in the 1898 war, addressing current efforts to preserve the fort and interpret the significance of the site.

A wine and hors d’oeuvre reception begins at 5:30; the program is 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Admission for members is $15/$25 per member/couple. Non-member admission is$20/$30 per person/couple. RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY SINCE THERE IS LIMITED SEATING: call 379-3331. Reservations for Saltus’ three-course dinner for $19 may be made by calling Saltus at 379-3474.


National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Leadership Training Sunday, June 3, 2012-Friday, June 8, 2012

•             Click here to apply! Applications are due April 1.

Capstone Experience PLT: Capstone Experience builds upon the National Trust’s signature training series which has included both basic and advanced modules and trained more than 800 preservationists since its inception. Capstone more thoroughly aligns classroom learning with the team project by focusing on the development of a specific skill set needed for the project and applicable to preservation projects back home.

Beaufort: A Learning Laboratory  In Beaufort, 36 participants will be joined by several highly skilled trainers to address the preservation challenge of the 1400 block of Duke Street, one of the historic district’s most important blocks. This block is representative of so many historic small town blocks – a complicated mix of historically significant commercial, retail, and residential structures in various states of repair. But it also offers participants a chance to apply preservation practices and approaches in a real world setting. Participants will work in teams spending about half the time in the classroom and half the time meeting with stakeholders, analyzing data, preparing options, and testing assumptions.  Learn more about Beaufort through this video.

Who Should apply? PLT: Capstone Experience participants are chosen through a competitive application process and are expected to possess solid background knowledge and experience in historic preservation. We encourage board members and paid staff from statewide and local nonprofit organizations and state historic preservation offices, and elected and appointed public officials, historic commission members, city planners, Main Street coordinators and managers, and other preservation activists to apply.

A Few More Details: Training begins on Sunday, June 3 in the afternoon and ends mid-day on Friday, June 8. Hotel accommodations have been secured at a rate of $119 per night including continental breakfast.  The registration fee is $500 for Forum members, and $650 for non Forum members. An additional cost of $150 includes beverage breaks, box lunches, and the Thursday night reception.

Questions?  Contact  or phone: 843-379-3331

Basics of Archives online

March 19, 2012

Register Now for Basics of Archives sponsored by the American Association for State and Local History.

The Basics of Archives self-paced online course, scheduled for May 7-June 10, is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices.

The course is made up of five lessons:

  • Archives and Archivists
  • Acquiring Your Collections
  • Processing Collections
  • Housing Your Collections
  • Access and Outreach

The course is web-based and takes 15-20 hours to complete. There are no required times to be online. You may finish the course anytime during the five-week course period.

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with archival materials.

Click here to register or for more information.

Personal note:  Both Charmaine and I have taken the class.  It is the best “one-stop” affordable introduction to archives management available without travel costs.  Anyone even remotely responsible for archival materials or data about collections within an institution should seriously consider, sign up, and go through the coursework.  Although archives work isn’t “rocket science,” there are definitions and standard practices that must be understood and observed for an institution’s records to be useful to researchers and in line with how reputable institutions arrange and share their holdings.   Taking this course can help you understand why these definitions and standard practices are important.