The second part of my research plan for my series of books, Herstory, Stories of the Women of East Haddam through the Centuries, was to look at what organizations there might be that would have some benefit to a historical writer. It is important to belong to organizations that bring like-minded people together so they can network and share information.
I immediately became a Godfrey Library Scholar (godfrey.org). Their wonderful library in Middletown is crammed full with historical research resources, especially for family and genealogy. They have volunteers who are working tirelessly to get more and more files online. By becoming a “scholar,” I not only support the organization but gain access to both the physical facility to draw help from, as well as their extensive online resources.
Another valuable group is the American Association for State and Local History (aaslh.org). Although this organization is national and more oriented to history professionals than to writers, their publications give a good overview of what is going on in the field. They have a local annual event with speakers that should be informative.
AASLH has a section on their website called “Hot Topics,” which is a great medium for keeping abreast of at-risk funding for libraries and museums. AASLH board members, who are on national boards and task forces, testify at governmental hearings when needed to support funding for organizations promoting preserving our history.
Another organization that is especially valuable to my project is the Connecticut Society of Genealogists (csginc.org). They provide information on all the facilities in the state that have genealogical holdings, where the Family History Centers are located, and what local facilities have one-of-a-kind resources such as manuscripts, diaries and account books listed by town. They generously provide telephone numbers and addresses. CSG also has a number of informative publications, which can be read in printed form or online. Members have more access to the content and features on the website.
Then there is the Association for the Study of Connecticut History (asch.ccsu.edu). As its name states, ASCH addresses a vital need by promoting the study of Connecticut history. ASCH publishes Connecticut History, the only journal dedicated expressly to the state’s history. It also publishes an informative newsletter. I am thrilled that ASCH has chosen me to be one of the presenters at their fall meeting in Nov. at Manchester Community College. Synergy at work again, the theme this year is “Women in Connecticut.” It will be an honor to share my research at this meeting.