Kalamazoo to Host State History Conference in September

KALAMAZOO—The Historical Society of Michigan’s 139th Annual Meeting and State History Conference will be held September 27-29, 2013 in Kalamazoo. Keynote presentations will include Celebrating the Automobile—Kalamazoo Style with David O. Lyon of the Gilmore Car Museum; John E. Fetzer: Broadcast Pioneer, Detroit Tigers Owner & Spiritual Seeker with Bruce Fetzer of the Fetzer Institute; Tale of Two Cities: St. Joseph and Benton Harbor with Frank L. Walsh of Meridian Township; and The Sins of Kalamazoo with Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s Tom Dietz.

Hosted and sponsored by the West Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, the conference will also feature several sessions and mini-workshops covering topics related to Michigan’s history. These include:

  • The Great Beer State: Breweries in Michigan
  • The Kalamazoo State Hospital: Treatment Center and Refuge for the Mentally Ill
  • Counterbalancing the Suburbs: The Impact of the First Outdoor Pedestrian Mall
  • The Underground Railroad and Emancipation in Michigan
  • Lincoln’s Michigan Visit: Shocking New Discoveries
  • Obama Visits Kalamazoo
  • The History of the Arts in Kalamazoo
  • Kalamazoo Fishing Giant: The Shakespeare Company
  • The Power of Perseverance: Anishnaabek Involvement in the War of 1812 and its Drastic Repercussions
  • Fort St. Joseph and the Dig
  • The Copper Strike of 1913: Company Houses Along the Picket Line
  • Leading the Way: The Kalamazoo Ladies’ Library Association
  • An Alternate Definition of Philanthropy: The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
  • Building the University of Michigan Law Quadrangle
  • Mini-Workshops:
    • Grant Writing for Special Projects
    • Navigating Social Media for Historical Organizations
    • Volunteer Recruitment and Management

The conference will begin Friday, September 27 with an optional pre-conference workshop reviewing basic curatorial skills for small museums and historical societies. Participants can also elect to attend one of three pre-conference tours, which will visit 1) The Underground Railroad House and Celery Flats Interpretive Center, 2) historic downtown Kalamazoo, or 3) the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and WMU’s new Zhang Legacy Collections Center. The evening will come to a close with the Annual President’s Reception and State History Awards Banquet, during which the Society will announce the recipients of the 2013 State History Awards.

Registration for the full event (including Friday’s awards reception and banquet, Saturday refreshments and lunch, Sunday morning tour, and all regular sessions) is $149 for members of the Historical Society of Michigan and $179* for non-members. Admission for Saturday-Only  (including all Saturday daytime sessions and lunch) is $109 for HSM members and $139* for non-members. In honor of our host institution, a discount is available to Kalamazoo County residents. For overnight accommodations, contact Holiday Inn West at (269) 375-6000 and ask for the “State History Conference Rate” of $89/night.

For prices and session descriptions, click here for the conference flier. To register for the event, visit our online registration page or call (800) 692-1828.

*All non-member rates include a one-year Level 1 membership to the Historical Society of Michigan.


Historical Society of Michigan 7435 Westshire Dr., Lansing MI 48917
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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