History Skills Workshops

register for a workshop
workshop-emblemThese training opportunities help historical organizations and interested history advocates gain skills that can be applied in museums, organizations, and personal collections.

  • Workshops are held from 9 a.m. to noon (unless noted) at the Meijer Education Center at the Historical Society of Michigan, 5815 Executive Dr., Lansing, Michigan.
  • If you are a personal member of HSM or represent an organization that itself is a member of the Society, registration is $39.
  • Registration for non-members is $79 and includes a one-year HSM Individual Level 1 membership.
  • Registration for each History Skills Workshop closes at noon the day BEFORE the scheduled workshop. Seating is limited. Walk-ins are welcome as long as seats are still available.
  • Participants can “attend” remotely, if they prefer. If you can watch and listen to a video on YouTube or Facebook, you have all the technology you need to join us remotely.* (Remote access is not available for off-site workshops.)
  • For in-person attendees, refreshments will be available. Lunch is on your own.
  • Materials are included with your registration. Any handouts from the presenter will be sent to remote attendees after the workshop.
*Details for remote connection will be provided prior to the workshop.

To register for a workshop, use our secure online registration form
or call (800) 692-1828.


July 26

Archives 201

with Lydia Tang, Michigan State University
This workshop is designed for participants who have some experience working with archival materials and have already gained a basic understanding of archival principles. Participants will learn advanced skills in arrangement and description methods of physical collections and in management and delivery of both physical and digital materials.

August 16

Start ’Em Early: Engaging Young Historians

with Amy Bradfield, Historical Society of Michigan
Are you looking for a way to engage students in the classroom or with your historical society? Michigan History Day® is a free, project-based learning program, where students explore historical topics through research. Gain an in-depth knowledge of the program and explore the tools needed to guide students in a successful experience.

September 6

If These Walls Could Talk: Researching Your Historic House

with Cassandra Nelson, Preservation Lansing
Every house or building has a great story to tell. In this workshop, you will learn how to uncover house histories, including who built them and when, their architectural styles, and the stories of the families who called them home. After that, you will learn what to do with that information.

September 20

Museum Newbies – How Do I . . . ?

with Kim Parr, The Crocker House Museum & Macomb County Historical Society
Are you new to the museum field and need advice on performing administrative functions? Perhaps you do not know how to document gifts or you have artifacts that do not fit into your collection. This open-discussion workshop will answer some of your questions and help you network with others in the field.

Please e-mail your pertinent questions at least two weeks before the workshop to hsm@hsmichigan.org, subject line: Museum Newbies.

October 11

Selling History: Operating a Museum Store

with Mary Toshach, Historical Society of Michigan
This session is an introduction to retail sales for organizations. Attendees will learn better strategies for marketing and sales, including the use of e-commerce and social media. The speaker will also discuss using computers to manage inventory and finances and how to collect, analyze, and improve your numbers to increase profits.

October 25

Putting It in Print: Publishing Your History Book

with David Hilberer & Jonnie Bryant, McNaughton & Gunn
Have you wanted to produce a history book, but do not know where to begin? The presenters will take you through all the steps of creating a book, including defining the scope, researching and writing, creating financial goals, gathering illustrations, defining the market, printing, and marketing the volume to the public.

November 8

Byte-Size Collections II: Digitizing AV Documents

with Matthew Wilcox, Michigan State University
Digitization projects can sometimes seem overwhelming to small and/or volunteer-run historical organizations. The speaker will discuss audiovisual technologies and techniques and digitizing audio and moving-image collections. This workshop is geared toward historical organizations that are still in the planning stages of a digitization project and those possessing limited resources.

November 22

Renovation SOS: Respectful Rehabilitation of Your Old House

with David Muylle, Muyelle Enterprises
You can restore and renovate your old house without turning it into a museum. In this workshop, an experienced contractor will teach you how to renovate your own historic home–retaining its timeless beauty and keeping it true to its character—yet make it still livable for the twenty-first century.

December 6

Getting Seen and Being Heard: Marketing for Small Historical Organizations

with Nancy Feldbush and Amy Wagenaar, Historical Society of Michigan
Nowadays, you need to be a Jack-(or Jill)-of-all-trades to communicate with visitors, members, and the general public. It can be daunting, especially if you have not had much practice working in that area. This “crash course” will offer some tips and suggestions so your messages can get seen and be heard.

Refunds will not be issued for cancellations less than one week before each workshop. Your registration fee can be transferred to another workshop in the series within one year of the date of your original workshop registration.

History Skills Workshops Registration Form


Historical Society of Michigan 5815 Executive Drive Lansing, MI 48911
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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