Write the History of Your Own League
You will be amazed at what you find!
1. Getting Started
Talk to your local people. Use your current membership base to your best advantage. For example, ask current members who would be good subjects for oral histories.
2. Visit Your Local Historical Society
Let your local history guide the arc of your league’s story.
Look for aspects that have already been done. Perhaps a past member created a timeline, or clipped some newspapers.
3. Look for partners to help
- Reach out to the history department of a local college.
- Your local historical society may have volunteers looking for projects
- High School social studies teachers are often eager for civic engagement projects
4. Hold a History Harvest
Invite current and former (and future!) members of your league to gather items, photographs, and memories. For more resources and ideas check out the History Harvest website.
5. Developing Your Project
Using your research and knowledge of the subject, start to develop a theme for your project. What connections are there among the materials you’ve found? It’s important to understand your audience so ask yourself questions such as: What feels most important to you? What would the people who witnessed the history firsthand or participated feel was most important? What is most important to the community today? What would be important to people outside the community? Good research is organized research!
- Keep, label, and organize!
- Start by creating a timeline. This can be on paper, or you can try this easy digital tool: Timeline
- Communication is important! Find a way to share all if the information you are discovering and stick with it.
6. Create an Exhibit
A great way to share your findings is by developing an accessible exhibit.
Although the timeline is important for understanding the history of your league, it is not the whole story. Your organizing themes and narrative arc can help you tell a story that will draw your readers or visitors into your history.
Digital vs. Physical
If you want to put together a physical exhibit, here are two resources:
How to build an exhibit in one hour (Morris County, MN Historical Society)
How to create an exhibition (from the Smithsonian)
If you want to try a digital exhibition, try a free account on WordPress