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MentoringLLHSMsmallThe Vermont Historical Society invites you to join us in service to Vermont's local historical societies and museums. To carry forward one of the most effective programs of the former Vermont Museum and Gallery Alliance, the Vermont Historical Society, through its League of Local Historical Societies and Museums, offers the Collections Care Mentoring Program.

In this program, Vermont’s local historical societies and museums will have access to the skills and expertise of the state’s leading cultural institutions to address challenges and improve organizational operations relating to collections management and care.

Guidelines: here’s how it works

Local historical societies and museums are encouraged to identify their most critical need relating to collections management and care. They may then apply for the help of a member of the program’s pool of mentors—volunteers who are trained and experienced in a variety of areas relating to collections. Vermont Historical Society staff will help identify the most appropriate mentor for each situation.

Mentors will conduct up to a day-long visit, meeting with staff and volunteers, touring facilities and examining the operations of the organization. Their on-site observations and follow-up written report will guide the organization in addressing the need or challenge defined in the application.

Typical collections care issues include: registration and cataloging, storage, environmental controls, security, exhibitions, emergency planning, and conservation. Organizations also may seek assistance with the care of specific types of collections, such as textiles, photographs or archival materials. In certain circumstances, organizations may benefit most from having a general collections survey.

Who can apply?

To be eligible, the Vermont local historical society or museum must be an institutional member of the Vermont Historical Society (dues are $50 per year). There is no cost to apply or participate in the program, although organizations are asked to reimburse their mentors for travel and meals associated with their site visit. Local historical societies and museums may apply once per year, and applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

That's where you come in!

Mentoring for local societiesThe Collections Care Mentoring Program will provide you and your staff the opportunity to serve this vital need through a "day of service" each year. Mentors commit to a one-day site visit to help address a defined challenge and follow up with a written report and recommendations. It is also our hope that these volunteer visits may result in an ongoing relationship of support and collegial friendship. (Your travel and meals associated with the site visit will be paid for by the hosting organization.)

Fill out an application form and start sharing your expertise with a local society or museum. You can also contact Eileen Corcoran at (802) 479-8522 or eileen.corcoran@vermonthistory.org.

The Vermont Historical Society acknowledges the generous support of the Windham Foundation.