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Do you want to become a Master Local Historian?


The East Tennessee History Center, American Association for State and Local History, and Humanities Tennessee offer a new three-part pilot program to become a Master Local Historian

The East Tennessee History Center, in collaboration with the American Association for State and Local History and Humanities Tennessee, invites you to participate in a new pilot program called MASTER LOCAL HISTORIANS. If you enjoy learning, thinking, discussing, reading, and writing about history then this program is for you!

Master Local Historians provides an opportunity to learn about the craft of the historian. What is historical thinking, and why does it matter? What sources are available to help advance your research? How do you care for artifacts and photographs in your own personal collection? With guidance from history professionals, Master Local Historians teaches how historians approach questions about the past and provides the tools to pursue a personally meaningful history project, such as community, buildings, church, or family history.

The East Tennessee Historical Society is the first in the nation to pilot the Master Local Historians program. Individuals who register for the course will participate in three, 3-hour sessions beginning April 9, 2018. Each session will take on a different topic with the goal of preparing you to begin your investigation of local history:

5:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, April 9: “The Power of Historical Thinking”

Understand historical thinking

Understand the relevance of good local history

Learn how to evaluate interpretive products of local history

Grasp the vocabulary, skills, and process of structuring a local history project

Share information about local history projects on which you already may be working

5:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, April 16: “Source and Resources”

Learn about the research assets at online and brick-and-mortar libraries and archives, and meet key staff at each

Learn how to search for secondary and primary sources at those sites

Learn how to get started with genealogy and family history research

Match a research strategy to a research question

Differentiate secondary from primary sources

Identify evidence in sources

Evaluate conflicts among evidence, in primary resources

5:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, April 23: “Collections: Their Care and Meaning”

Understand a public, curated collection

Identify personal collections

Gain an introductory understanding of collections care

Understand that artifacts, costumes, correspondence, books, etc., are primary sources with meaning

Sessions are interactive and discussion-based and provide a chance to not only learn from experts but float ideas, grapple with tricky questions, and learn the historian’s craft by doing.

If you are interested in participating in the Master Local Historians pilot, please contact the East Tennessee Historical Society. The pilot program is free, but registration is required by calling (865) 215-8825 or emailing [email protected] Participation limited to 30 individuals. Participants may bring their own dinner/snacks or order a boxed dinner (for a fee) when registering. For more information on the Master Local Historian Program visit our website.

Master Local Historians is a new program from the American Association for State and Local History, supported by grant funding from Humanities Tennessee and operated in partnership with the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Knox County Public Library.