• Monday, February 20, 2023 4:11 PM | Anonymous

    My first month as APHNYS President has been busy as I adjust to the role and transition some of my previous activities as 2nd Vice President to our Vice Presidents Julie Madlin and Lauren Roberts. And the rest of the board has been busy too.

    The program and local arrangements committees have met to discuss our fall conference, to be held September 18-20 in Ithaca. We expect soon to have the conference theme set and will be issuing the call for proposals. The local arrangements committee is finding a number of tour options – the committee’s big challenge will be winnowing them down to a manageable number. Ithaca has a lot to offer.

    The membership committee, comprised of our regional coordinators and chaired by Julie Madlin and APHNYS Director Babette Huber, met in late January, mainly to discuss the spring regional meetings that several regions are planning. A list of our regional coordinators is at Association of Public Historians of New York State - APHNYS Officers, Directors and Regional Coordinators. We still are looking for coordinators for Regions 1 (New York City), 3 (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties) and 10 (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Schuyler, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties).

    APHNYS Director Jason Parkman has been working with the William G. Pomeroy Foundation on their plans for the inaugural Historic Marker Day, set for April 28. The purpose of the day is to clean historic markers. The Pomeroy Foundation would like to make this an annual event. More information about this is located at National Historic Marker Day | William G. Pomeroy Foundation ( This is a great opportunity to involve various members of your communities in taking care of these markers. The site includes information on how to properly clean these. And it isn’t limited to just Pomeroy markers but all historic markers.

    A reminder that all local government historian’s annual reports are to be submitted, not only to their appointing authority, but to the New York State Historian. An on-line form is available at Historian Annual Report Form | The New York State Museum ( The site also gives you an option to download the form and submit it that way.

    I want to alert everyone to scam/phishing e-mails that our board have been receiving. Messages appear to come from me or from our treasurer Zach Studenroth. They often, but not always, reference the need for assistance in carrying out some type of financial transaction. Sometimes the ones coming to me are more along the line of “do you have a few minutes to talk today?” They appear to come from the address, but if you look more closely or hit reply, you’ll see a totally different address.

    We have not heard of any of our members getting such messages, but we thought we should alert you just in case. If you ever get something like this from us, do not respond to it. There isn’t much we can do to prevent this. Scammers often go to public websites and harvest the information. The main thing we can do is be vigilant. Whenever you get an e-mail from anyone that makes you a little nervous, listen to your instincts and check it out before making any response.

    Don’t forget to renew your APHNYS membership if you have yet to do so. You can do it on-line with your credit by going to Association of Public Historians of New York State - Join (  You can download a membership form if you prefer to mail in your check. The form is at 2023 APHNYS Dues and Membership Form.pdf

    Ray LaFever, APHNYS President

  • Monday, January 16, 2023 9:58 AM | Raymond LaFever (Administrator)

    The APHNYS Board of Directors held its organizational meeting on January 9 and elected the following slate of officers:

    President – Ray LaFever, Town of Bovina Historian

    1st Vice President – Julie Madlin, City of Ogdensburg Historian

    2nd Vice President – Lauren Roberts, Saratoga County Historian

    Secretary – Samantha Hall-Saladino, Fulton County Historian

    Treasurer – Zachary Studenroth, Village of Southhampton Historian

    The board welcomed two new members, elected at last fall’s annual meeting in Kingston, Stan Cianfarano, Warren County Historian and Jason Parkman, Town of Elbridge Historian. A complete list of our officers and directors, as well as of our regional coordinators, is on our website at Association of Public Historians of New York State - APHNYS Officers, Trustees and Regional Coordinators

    I’m taking on the role as APHNYS President with some trepidation, following in the footsteps of Christine Ridarsky, Rose Tucker, Gerry Smith and Carol McKenna, but I’m grateful for the great Board of Directors who help to ensure the smooth running of things and to keep me on my toes. I’m particularly grateful to Julie and Lauren for stepping into the Vice President positions. I’m breathing a little easier!

    Kudos and hats off to Christine Ridarsky, who shepherded APHNYS through one of its most challenging times as everyone coped with the pandemic. She was instrumental in making it possible for members to renew and to register for our conference on-line. Christine also led us through a much-needed change to our by-laws. And a thank you to departing board member and 1st Vice President Matt Urtz, who was instrumental in coordinating the streaming options at our conferences over the past three years, among many other things during his tenure on the board. Matt still intends to be involved with APHNYS, thank goodness.

    We have started work on our fall APHNYS conference, which will be September 18-20 in Ithaca in Region 10. We will have a streaming option for those not able to come in person. More information, including the call for proposals, is coming soon. And we’ll be encouraging our regions to hold a spring regional meeting. One suggested topic of discussion at these meetings will be succession planning.

    While we interpret and save the history of our communities, we have to think of the future of preserving that past. As we think of retiring from our positions, or even before that thought enters our minds, it wouldn’t hurt to start looking around for someone suitable to follow us and make sure that whatever information we have as local government historians passes smoothly to our successors.

    Succession planning is something that APHNYS is working on also. APHNYS is getting new faces and new viewpoints on our board, but we are always looking for more. Out of our twelve regions, three of them have no regional coordinator, so we’re hopeful that some of you will step up to ensure that all the regional coordinator spots filled, allowing us to get a broad perspective statewide.   

    So, here’s to a successful 2023 for APHNYS and all local government historians.

    Ray LaFever

    President, Association of Public Historians of New York State (APHNYS)

    PS – If you haven’t joined APHNYS or renewed your membership, I hope you will consider doing so today. You can join on-line at Association of Public Historians of New York State - Join ( or send in a membership form to APHNYS, P.O. Box 1363, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. You can download the form at 2023 APHNYS Dues and Membership Form.pdf

  • Thursday, October 27, 2022 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    APHNYS was delighted to host a live taping of the A New York Minute in History podcast at our 2022 conference in Kingston. Hosts Devin Lander and Laura Roberts spoke with City of Kingston Historian Taylor Bruck, APHNYS President Christine L. Ridarsky, and Madison Count Historian Matt Urtz,  as well as Susan Hughes, historian and archivist for the conference's presenting sponsor the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and Don Widman, host of the podcast American History Hit. Learn more and listen at Live From the APHNYS | A New York Minute in History - WAMC Podcasts.

  • Thursday, June 23, 2022 10:32 AM | Raymond LaFever (Administrator)

    APHNYS is seeking nominations for its awards, given every year at its annual conference. Here are the categories for the awards:

    Franklin D. Roosevelt Local Government Historian Professional Achievement Award

    Awarded to an appointed historian for lifetime achievement in the practice of public history in NYS.

    Edmund J. Winslow Local Government Historian Award for Excellence – Recognition for excellence in one or more public history projects or publications.

    APHNYS Award for Excellence in Promoting Local History – Excellence in cooperation and promoting local history through research, writing, and other related accomplishments.

    Hugh Hastings Award – Honoring citizens and government officials who work to promote, preserve, and stimulate interest in the history of NYS.

    Joseph E. Meany Award – Excellence in promoting and/or preserving military, labor, or marine projects or publications.

    To submit a nomination, go to this link for the form:

  • Monday, June 20, 2022 3:23 PM | Raymond LaFever (Administrator)

    The APHNYS Registered Historians program is looking for a few good historians to participate. Nothing says honor and distinction than being recognized by both your fellow historians and your own municipality as a registered historian. Over the last few years, an increasingly larger number of historians have become registered with APHNYS. These historians have shown their commitment to their own profession and their area by performing all the duties of the job.

    The APHNYS Registered Historians Committee has streamlined the process. Click on the link below for the application form. Take the time to read the form fully and add the requested supporting material. The deadline submission for this program is July 1, 2022.

    Association of Public Historians of New York State - Registered Historians (

    Our address for mailing completed packets is:

    Sandra Bradford

    Attn: Registered Historians Program

    5588 Mark Taber Road

    Trumansburg, NY 14886

    Or, better yet, scan the application and documentation submit the complete application packet as a PDF file to:

    Take the time to look over the program. It denotes those who truly strive to promote excellence in history. Those who complete the program will be recognized at the 2022 Conference in Kingston with a certificate and a special Registered Historians pin.

  • Friday, June 17, 2022 11:20 AM | Raymond LaFever (Administrator)

    The 2022 Association of Public Historians of New York State (APHNYS) annual conference will be held in Kingston, New York, September 19–21. You are invited to spread the word about your organization, institution, products, or services to the 80+ public historians in attendance, our 400+ members, and New York’s 1,600+ government-appointed historians. 

    Information about how you can be a sponsor, exhibit at the conference and advertise in our annual conference program is in our APHNYS 2022 Annual Conference marketing opportunities.

  • Monday, August 02, 2021 10:46 AM | Julie Madlin (Administrator)

    Last year was a year like we've never experienced before. As we struggled with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that recognized U.S. women’s right to vote and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment that enfranchised black men, as well as the anniversaries of innumerable other “Watershed Moments” in local, state, and national history. As the Association of Public Historians of New York State gathers in Oswego, at the convergence of the Oswego River and Lake Ontario, we seek to examine the various ways in which public historians interpret and commemorate “Watershed Moments,” as well as the role water has played in shaping the communities we serve.

    We've got an exciting program planned for you! Look for the full program on our website soon!

  • 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.

  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020 10:31 AM | Anonymous

    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.

  • Monday, May 25, 2020 11:48 AM | Anonymous

    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:

    You may also wish to review the tip sheet that we've created to guide participants:

    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

APHNYS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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