Losing History: The Plight of Local Historical Societies

Patriotic_old_women_-_American_FlagIn just a few days, the United States will celebrate its 239th birthday. We may remember the major battles of the Revolutionary War and can name some of the Forefather’s who signed the declaration of Independence—but what if we couldn’t? What if their names and deeds were completely washed away in the sands of time? What would we be celebrating this Fourth of July?

 

While our nation still holds the memory of our Independence near and dear to our patriotic hearts, historical societies across the country are having trouble keeping their version of history alive. The plight of local historical societies includes deep budget cuts and risk of endangerment—and with their extinction, the pieces of our local American history could be lost forever.

 

Now more than ever, we need to support these keepers of local legends and preservers of city history before it’s too late. There are several ways to help, any of which will be greatly appreciated in your home city or town—here are a few of the best ways to get involved.

 

Volunteer your time

 

The phrase “many hands make light work” rings true here. Historical societies have mountains of work that they need volunteers to help with. Societies could be looking for volunteers to lead guiding tours, catalogue and document important information, market events and fundraisers, and much more—all you need to do is give your time.

 

Exercise your right to vote

 

As a government funded, non-profit organization, local historical societies are constantly seeing their budget up for vote. If you’re not sure what to vote on and when, all you need to do is head down to your local historical society and ask. You’ll be provided with all the information you need to make an informed voting decision.

 

Donate to a good cause

 

Some of the most precious—and usually highly abundant—assets these societies have in their possession are boxes of photos, films, and slides collecting dust in storage. These boxes may hold irreplaceable and invaluable photos of your aunt or great grandfather or they could hold the key to unlocking a local mystery. You can either volunteer to scan, preserve, and document these slices of history or can donate a ScanMyPhotos egift certificate to the cause. Whatever you decide, remember that every little bit helps!

 

This Fourth of July, let’s vow to preserve the histories of the cities and towns across our fair nation. Get involved with your local historical society today!