News

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  • Wednesday, May 05, 2021 4:48 PM | Christine Ridarsky (Administrator)

    APHNYS is now accepting session proposals for the 2021 Conference. We are tentatively planning to meet in person in Oswego on September 13-15, 2021. We also plan to offer a virtual version of the conference for those who are unable to join us in Oswego.

    We are looking for people who are willing to present in person in Oswego. We will also consider proposals for pre-recorded on-demand virtual sessions. Our theme for this year is "Watershed Moments."

    Click here to read the Call for Proposals and submit your proposal. But hurry! The deadline is June 15, 2021.

  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021 5:06 PM | Raymond LaFever (Administrator)

    Applications are now being accepted for the fourth grant round of the Pomeroy Fund for NYS History, a partnership between the Pomeroy Foundation and Museum Association of New York (MANY).

    This round will provide $50,000 in grants to assist 501(c)(3) history-related organizations in New York State with capital needs expenses in 2021.

    Grant requests will be considered for technology equipment, facility maintenance equipment, furnishings, major material purchases, renovations, refurbishments, remodeling and rehabilitation.

    Eligible organizations must be a history-related organization located in New York State and have an annual operating budget of $150,000 or less. If your organization received funding from the Pomeroy Fund in 2020, you are eligible to apply, but preference will be given to those who have yet to receive funding.


  • Monday, February 01, 2021 1:32 PM | Christine Ridarsky (Administrator)

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The newest grant round of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation's New York State Historic Marker Grant Program opens today, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.

    This roadside marker program commemorates historic people, places, things or events in New York State within the time frame of 1740-1921. Grants cover the entire cost of a cast aluminum marker, pole and shipping.

    Spanning Western New York and much of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, this grant round covers the following New York State counties: Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Schuyler, Tioga and Tompkins (Region 10); Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates (Region 11); and Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming (Region 12).

    The NYS Historic Marker Grant Program is open to local, state and federal government entities, nonprofit academic institutions and 501(c)(3) organizations in New York State. Often, municipal historians or local historical organizations (or related nonprofits) will apply for a marker on behalf of a property owner.

    Those interested in applying for a marker grant should submit an online Letter of Intent to verify primary sources by Monday, March 1, 2021. Primary source documentation is necessary to support the text on a marker. The final application deadline is Monday, April 9, 2021.

    To view program guidelines, regional grant schedule and details about how to apply online, visit the Pomeroy Foundation’s NYS marker program page.

    In addition to the NYS marker program, the Foundation also offers several nationwide marker grant programs with themes spanning a range of topics, from folklore to the National Register of Historic Places. The Foundation’s website also features an interactive, digital map with listings of current markers and plaques nationwide.

  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020 10:31 AM | Christine Ridarsky (Administrator)

    Did you miss the 2020 Virtual Conference & Annual Meeting? Or was there a session that you was so good you want to see it again? No worries! All conference sessions were recorded and are now available on APHNYS's YouTube channel. View them here.

  • Sunday, September 20, 2020 12:17 PM | Christine Ridarsky (Administrator)

    The 2020 Virtual Conference Program is now available. Click here to view it. This program will serve as your guide to the conference. If you are registered, please take some time to review the program prior to the start of the conference. It includes useful information on how to access the sessions and tips for using Zoom. To join sessions, you will just need to click on the session title. We look forward to seeing you on September 21-22, 2020!

  • Wednesday, September 02, 2020 12:21 PM | Christine Ridarsky (Administrator)

    Join APHNYS for its first virtual conference and annual meeting on September 21-22, 2020. We had to cancel our in-person conference due to COVID-19, but that won't stop us from getting together online to learn from each other and conduct the business of the organization. All sessions will be held using Zoom video teleconferencing technology. The event is free for all APHNYS members, officially appointed government historians, and anyone interested in learning about the work we do, but pre-registration is required. Click here to register.

    APHNYS Vice President Matt Urtz and the 2020 Program Committee has worked hard to pull together a wonderful line of presentations, including plenary session on the Inclusive Historians Handbook. The handbook, co-produced by the Association for State and Local History and the National Council for Public History and co-edited by former New York State Historian Robert Weible, is a dynamic reference source that supports inclusive and equity-focused historical work in public settings by sharing a knowledge base that invites more people to engage in history projects.

    Other conference sessions focus on topics such as documenting COVID-19, tools for sharing history in a virtual environment, historic markers, and resources available from the New York State Archives. We will also offer training for new historians and a session on applying to become an APHNYS Registered Historian. Look for a complete program soon!



  • Monday, May 25, 2020 11:48 AM | Christine Ridarsky (Administrator)

    Today APHNYS launched a groundbreaking new crowdsourced COVID-19 documentation project for you to use and to share to capture stories about the pandemic and its effects in your community.

    The APHNYS Witness to History PixStori project allows anyone anywhere to participate by sharing images and stories about their pandemic experiences from the safety of their own home using a web-based social-media-style application. The goal is gather a large-scale collection of image-based short-form oral histories that can collectively demonstrate how people from throughout New York State responded to and experienced the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Responding to broad prompts, people are invited to choose or take photographs evoking what they wish to share, from their vantage," said Michael Frisch, past president of the Oral History Association and co-founder of Talking Pictures, LLC, the company behind the PixStori application. "In writing or voice, they describe what these images say and mean to them. The result can be a compact core of image, story, reflection, and insight—on their own ground, and in their own terms."

    Using a computer, cell phone, or other device, participants just go to our PixStori project site (see below), upload an image from their camera roll (or select a representative image from our collection), and use their built-in mircophone record a brief oral story discussing what the image represents to them. If they don't have a microphone, they can write a story instead.

    Frisch highlighted the potential of the APHNYS project and the short-form image-based oral history model, in general, during a workshop presented by the International Federation for Public History this morning.

    "At its core is the notion that responses to photographs, especially self-chosen or taken, opens a natural, open-ended story-telling oral history mode," Frisch said. "People describe the photo, and 'grounded but not bounded' by the image, they often then 'take off' to broad reflections. Surprisingly meaningful in concentrated short form, these become even more so, for public history, when brought together like tiny 'tiles' in a mosaic to tell broader stories. This is easy to do because they are 'born small,' modular units easily coded, sorted, and combinable by themes-- for a community, a nation, and perhaps especially for comparative and cumulative documentation of a global pandemic touching everyone’s lives."

    We encourage you to use this tool to collect stories from your community. Share the opportunity to contribute on your website and social media pages; personally invite community leaders, first responders, medical personnel, business owners, school teachers, and anyone else you can think of; and send press releases to your local media. All people need to participate is this link:

    https://www.pixstoriplus.com/invitation/y3j79ZFh2GagiEF4h.

    You may also wish to review the tip sheet that we've created to guide participants: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rqicKMIh7Kl_V_Ev_g4UU8jBsunuJHXk.

    Together we can ensure that we leave behind a comprehensive record of New York's COVID-19 experience from which future generations can learn!

    Questions? Contact us at publichistoriansnys@gmail.com.

  • Friday, May 22, 2020 11:41 AM | Christine Ridarsky (Administrator)

    The APHNYS Board of Trustees has made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person annual conference scheduled for September 21-23, 2020, in Oswego due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead our 1st Vice President Matthew Urtz and our Program Committee are working to put together a virtual conference and annual meeting. APHNYS members in good standing will be able to participate for free. Look for details in the coming weeks.

    Fortunately, the Lake Ontario Event & Conference Center has agreed to allow us to transfer our 2020 contract to 2021 with no penalties. This means that there will be no negative financial impact on APHNYS as a result of this year's cancellation. Please plan to join us in Oswego next year! Dates will be announced soon.

    Please continue to stay safe and to document the effects of the pandemic in your community!

  • Sunday, March 29, 2020 7:20 PM | Christine Ridarsky (Administrator)

    As lAs local government-appointed historians, it is our duty to document not just the past but the present. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event in all our lives; it is imperative that we record the impact on our communities and how our citizens respond. The Association of Public Historians of New York State suggests that you immediately begin documenting your community's response and offer the following guidelines and suggestions:

    1.  Remember! Health and safety are your number one priority. Documenting your community's response does not include risking your own health or that of your family and friends. Please follow all rules for social distancing and any quarantines that have been established.
    2. Keep a diary. Beginning today, record your memories of local events and reactions to COVID-19 at least since the beginning of March. Continue to update that journal as we move forward: What are you doing, what are you hearing and seeing, and how is the response to COVID-19 affecting your normal habits? Encourage the public to do the same. This can be done by in a variety of ways. Individuals can keep handwritten or computerized diaries, write blogs, record video or audio diaries or use whatever creative venue appeals to them.
    3.  APHNYS has developed a form that historians can use to collect stories from throughout New York State. Once the crisis and the collecting period have ended, APHNYS will share the responses with historians throughout the state Please share the Google form widely within your community and via social media and encourage participation: https://forms.gle/ZUxePXJLcQC2fKCK8.
    4. Take and/or collect photographs of various ways your community is responding. Remember to record the name of the photographer and the date and location when/where image was taken. Remember to be cognizant of copyright laws. The Google form mentioned above can also be used to collect images.
    5. Create and continually add to a timeline of your community’s response to the COVID-19. Make note of county, regional, state, and national declarations that have an impact on your community, as well as the community response. For example, Governor Cuomo’s order to close entertainment venues and to restrict restaurant operations, which came out as a Tweet. (Screen shots can be a useful way of documenting Tweets.) Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz shared a draft of a timeline he is creating; feel free to use it as a model for your own work: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tp-0XqBGW7ISBHoMtDzi7fLx-t-PClGN.
    6. Record/save and index local news reports (from print, television, radio and online sources), as well as social media notices. Particularly note any creative online activities people have created locally to keep people informed; these may be harder to document after the fact.
    7. Keep a record of specific activities your community's citizens are taking to help each other in this crisis, such as making grocery runs for the elderly, etc. Collect letters, posters, flyers, social media posts, etc., advertising these activities.
    8. Preserve all directives and other material relating to COVID-19 that are issued by your local government, especially physical media like posters and fliers but also email social media posts.
    9. Talk with and, when possible, record oral history interviews with your community's local officials, first responders, and medical personnel about the actions they are taking and how the public is interacting with them. Keep in mind that these folks likely will not have much time to talk with you now. If they are willing to share now, great, but understand if this is not a good time. In the meantime, take notes. Off-hand conversations will generate a great deal of interesting data that will otherwise be lost. It is much easier to document the situation as it is unfolding. Be sure to record the names of these key people with whom you cannot speak right away so when things settle down a bit you can set up a time to interview them.
    10. Talk with and, when possible, record oral history interviews your community's businesses owners and employees, particularly those who work in local grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and other sectors that have been particularly affected by the crisis. First responders and healthcare workers will be another key group to consider.

    We are unquestionably within a historical moment that will be of great interest to future generations. Government-appointed historians have a duty under New York State Law to document these sorts of episodes. You may wish to partner with your local historical societies, as well. The key here is to document, collect, and preserve as much data and information on the local reaction to COVID-19 as you can.

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