04 June 2016

Historical Societies: For the History in You

Here is a shout out to the historical societies far and wide; they make the rediscovery of our local roots possible.

If you live in a location that has a great state historical society, then you live in a place that values local heritage.  For the Nearby Norwegians, the Washington State Historical Society, located in the city of Tacoma, is a treasure.  The Society makes history readily available through a museum, exhibits, photographs, events and programs, as well as the increasingly popular History Day writing project for Washington middle and high school students.  The Society is also an education partner for HistoryLink.org, a free and ever-growing online encyclopedia of Washington State history.

The quarterly membership publication of the Washington State Historical Society, Columbia, serves as an indispensable venue for writers and historians by which to share their research, thus inspiring others to learn more about a wealth of local history subjects.

"COLUMBIA Magazine has a rich, 20-year history of producing scholarly and entertaining issues capturing the essence of Northwest history through engaging prose and striking image..."

Researchers are usually not users of just one historical society's offerings.  For the Nearby Norwegians, the search for Norwegian-American genealogical and historical information often reaches further afield to the offerings of the  Minnesota Historical Society, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and more.  Where would we be without these organizations?   ...All the poorer for facts and stories, to be certain, and less informed about the richness of culture and the effects of industry, infrastructure, and more, on local populations.

But, history does not just happen on a state level, so now we come to those small powerhouse organizations, often run by dedicated volunteers--the local historical societies.  How we love them!  It does not matter what area they are "local" to.  If you are researching history in that area, then it is your locality, too.  Our advice is to maintain membership in as many as you can afford, because you are not just helping to ensure that information access remains possible for yourself, but also for your descendants, and your friends and neighbors.

"We are not makers of history.  We are made by history." 
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"History is philosophy teaching by examples."
 - Thucydides

"History is not a burden on the memory, but an illumination of the soul." 
 - Lord Acton

Chery Kinnick

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