The Society for History in the Federal Government (SHFG)
Oral History in the Mid Atlantic Region (OHMAR)
Joint Research Conference on
“PUBLIC HISTORY IN THE DIGITAL AGE”
April 4–5, 2013
National Archives at College Park, Maryland
• To join OHMAR (or renew a membership), please visit the OHMAR website: http://www.ohmar.org/member.html
• To join SHFG, visit http://shfg.org/shfg/membership/
Comments from Attendees
We realized that the joint conference was going well on the first day when we stepped to the podium to make some program announcements during lunch. The conversations in the dining room were lively, and interrupting them proved no easy task. Polite tapping on the microphone failed, at first, to quiet the din. The excited chatter in the dining room confirmed what we had long hoped: a joint SHFG-OHMAR conference just made sense. Oral historians, public historians, and federal historians have much in common. Overlapping interests, related projects, and similar concerns among the historians attending the conference, highlighted the similarities of our fields, and the benefits of collaboration. This year’s joint conference provided people the opportunity to share their work, catch up with old friends, and make new acquaintances. We hope you enjoyed the conference as much as we did, and we encourage everyone to continue these lively conversations in the months and years to come.
— Kate Scott and Kathleen Johnson, OHMAR
The joint OHMAR/SHFG conference demonstrated valuable confluences. Sessions were well attended, and the dynamics from capturing personal narratives provided fruitful ground for professional discussions. Equally important, I was delighted to see a significant injection of student papers and a budding future as the SHFG/OHMAR founding generations gracefully exit the scene.
— Fred Stielow, American Public University System
SHFG’s 2013 Conference at Archives II was masterfully conceived and capably executed. The theme of combining the oldest “historical” records – oral tradition – with the most modern methods of digital archiving and research stimulated not just lively discussions but also consideration of almost limitless possibilities open to historians. The “old” was made “new”!
— Billy L. Wayson, Ph.D., Independent Researcher
Joint meetings generally add extra flavor to both organization, and that was certainly true on this occasion. The uniting of SHFG and OHMAR mixed the shared interests of interviewers, historians, curators, and archivists. The program committee deserves applause not only for the width and depth of the program but also for providing an opportunity to socialize at the evening reception.
— Don Ritchie, U.S. Senate Historical Office
The joint conference of SHFG and OHMAR reminded me once again of the creative and and innovative work being done by public historians, curators, archivists, and others in federal agencies, university classrooms, and community organizations. The presentations and discussions were invigorating.
— Lu Ann Jones, National Park Service
The combined SHFG-OHMAR conference worked particularly well—for instance, the panel I chaired was a mix of federal and oral historians, and their presentations complemented each other. I also attended the oral history workshop and heard a presentation on the Veterans History Project—it’s a model I can build on to capture some Archives oral histories.
— Jessie Kratz, National Archives
This year’s conference benefited from our partnership with OHMAR. The memberships overlapped enough to make it twice as useful to many attendees. New faces provided great opportunities to network outside of the usual circles. Panels were high quality with good variety.
— Laura O’Hara, U.S. House Office of History
The decision to hold a joint SHFG/OHMAR conference was a resounding success. Perhaps most striking were the many creative uses being made of digital history. Despite great progress in the digital realm, challenges remain in the traditional area of records management, as the fascinating presentation on missing Gulf War records revealed.
— Carl Ashley, Department of State