Is it Smart to have a Genealogist on a Historical Society Board?

Historical society boards make decisions that affect the lives of the local community of family historians. Although family history and genealogy are different from each other, it is a smart to have a genealogist on a historical society board.

A Genealogist Can Help Your Society Evolve

Many historical societies were formed in the early 19th century by amateur historians. Back then, these well educated amateurs likely knew enough to guide local people to resources that may provide them with information about their family.

Today, historical societies are adding genealogists to their boards. The genealogist can answer questions about resources the historical society owns and recommend genealogical resources that the society should consider obtaining. Genealogists can help advise what to keep when a genealogy library must move to a new location or when it closes.

A Genealogist Adds Value to Membership

Historical societies often sell memberships that include members-only access to special things. In general, a historical society membership comes with free admission to the historical society museum, invitations to members-only exhibitions and special tours, discounts on tickets and items purchased in the historical society museum gift shop.

Access to a genealogist is something that many family historians will see as a valuable addition to their membership perks. The genealogist on the historical society board can offer a consultation to members for free. After the initial consultation, the genealogist can charge an hourly fee for research that a member would like him or her to do.

A Genealogist Can Say No

Historical societies may be offered a wide range of things from people who believe it is of value. Those items can range from old photos of the local area, journals and diaries of ancestors, and wedding dresses that someone’s great grandmother wore.

Members of a historical society board may feel awkward about refusing to accept someone’s beloved family heirlooms. A genealogist on the board can quickly evaluate if the items has genealogical value. The genealogist provides sound reasoning for accepting, or rejecting, an item.

Related Articles on

* The Historical Society of Montgomery County has Genealogical Resources

* Genealogical Resources at Historical Society of Pennsylvania

* The Differences Between a Genealogist and a Family Historian

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