Collaboration is key to the success of The History Trust and its member organizations. Working hand-in-hand, we learn from each other and partner within our communities.
- Manset Steeple BellA loving community donated their services and support to display a bell that had hung in the Manset Meetinghouse bellfry for 155 years.
- Good Connections on Great Cranberry IslandOn a sunny August afternoon, I sat with leaders of Great Cranberry Island Historical Society at a picnic table outside Cranberry House. I learned of the impressive services the society offers their island community.
- Pulling TogetherIt is not often that we have the opportunity to help create a new organization. One based on really old collections, mindsets, and behaviors itching to change—and ready to change.
- A Visit to La Rochelle Mansion & MuseumOne thing stands out to me as I think about the History Trust mission—two institutions that formerly had little interaction are now talking to each other, sharing what they have, and celebrating the accomplishment.
- We can’t keep everything, but . . .We can’t keep everything, but we can collaborate. Think for a moment about all the really cool, old stuff there is just on Mount Desert Island and surrounding communities.
- History Takes TimeI thought I was working on a quick task—that was my first mistake. Historical research takes time, and it’s never as easy as typing a word into a search box and clicking ‘Enter.’
Communities of Practice
History Trust members work together in all aspects of collections management, nonprofit management, and public engagement. We are building a “community of practice” around these topics within our region.
- “Communities of Practice: A brief Introduction” by Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayne (2015). We are building a “community of practice” among the institutional members of The History Trust. This brief and general introduction examines what communities of practice are and why researchers and practitioners in so many different contexts find them a useful as approach to knowing and learning.
It’s a good idea to join professional organizations, first local then regional and national organizations as budgets allows. The following three are a good start for History Trust members, and each has annual dues based on the size of an organization’s budget. It’s a great way to learn from others!
- Maine Archives & Museums – Collecting institutions of all kinds, and their directors, staff, and volunteers, are encouraged to join (https://www.mainemuseums.org/MAMMembership).
- NEMA – New England Museum Association is good for a wide range of organizations, small to large, various types of museums (https://nemanet.org/membership/museum/).
- AASLH – American Association for State & Local History is probably the best national organization for a small, local historical society (https://aaslh.org/membership/).
Governance and Management
- “Advancing Together: The Role of the Nonprofit Board in Successful Strategic Alliances”. This document, developed in collaboration with Maine Association of Nonprofits, provides an overview of the collaboration continuum, the opportunities and challenges of alliances, and guidance about the role of the board in creating effective partnerships (2007).
- “All Hands on Board – The Board of Directors in an All-Volunteer Organization” . This handbook recommended by the Maine Association of Nonprofits explains the two types of responsibilities that volunteer organization boards have and provides a checklist that helps assess the work of the board.
- “Five Elements of Collective Leadership” by Cassandra O’Neill and Monica Brinkerhoff (2018).
Following a commonly agreed upon set of ethical principles and practices encourages member organizations to act beneficially and for the common good of all History Trust collaborators.
- SAA – Society of American Archivists Core Values Statement and Code of Ethics are intended to guide individuals who perform archival labor or who work in archival environments (https://www2.archivists.org/statements/saa-core-values-statement-and-code-of-ethics).
- AAM – American Alliance of Museums Code of Ethics for Museums is presented as the Framework for Museum Excellence which provides a structure inclusive of AAM-issued standards and best practices, as well as those developed by discipline-specific organizations and issue-specific groups (https://www.aam-us.org/programs/ethics-standards-and-professional-practices/).
- Work Hand-in-Hand – Links about working together.
- Manage Collections – Links and other resources recommended by the History Trust collections committee.
- Share History – Help making historical collections available to all.
- Learn Digital Archive – Help for anyone to use use the Digital Archive.
- FOR COUNCIL MEMBERS: Member Allies (login required)
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