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Historical society to share innovative projects with Jacksonville community


Curators from the Detroit Historical Society will visit Jacksonville to share their expertise in preserving and interpreting the past with educational programs on Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11.

The Detroit Historical Society has long been dedicated to ensuring that the history of their region is preserved so that current and future generations of metro Detroiters can better understand the people, places and events that have helped shape their lives.

Representatives from the organization will talk about their Looking Back to MOVE FORWARD community engagement project. The collaborative work was an unprecedented community-wide effort to bring diverse voices and communities together around the effects of a historic crisis to find their roles in the present and inspire the future. The Looking Back to MOVE FORWARD project has been recognized nationally by the American Association of State and Local History and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.This and other innovative, public history projects by the society will be explored in two unique sessions: 

Detroit 67: Oral Histories Beyond the Archive 
Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. Kirby Learning Center, Room 6 (IC campus map here) 
Curators from the DHS will present a convocation program focused on the roles of public memory, oral histories, and community engagement, specifically connecting with the Detroit '67: Looking Back to Move Forward project. This public program is part of the "Conversation with a Curator" series of programming at Illinois College. The series is designed to engage and educate audiences about the public history field. The Paul Findley Congressional Office Museum and the Department of History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religion at IC will host this event. 

Oral History for Beginners 
Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. (Jacksonville Public Library) 
Illinois College and the Jacksonville Public Library are collaborating to host the DHS for a free workshop focused on conducting and organizing public histories. The Detroit Historical Society will be here to discuss the ins and outs of oral history for the beginner and provide resources.

During their campus visit, staff from the DHS will also meet in small groups with Illinois College students, including those studying archival methods through the public history program. Curators will meet with student workers employed with the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives and Paul Findley Congressional Office Museum, offering insight on the transferable skills of working with a campus museum and archive.

The Detroit Historical Society’s visit to Illinois College is supported in part by a Consortium on Digital Resources for Teaching and Research Development Grant from the Council of Independent Colleges. 

For more information, contact Samantha Sauer, Illinois College archivist, curator of the Paul Findley Congressional Museum, and assistant professor of history at 217.245.3595 or  

 Photo courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of about 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217.245.3467 for more information.

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