Publications = Access + Fundraising

At a recent workshop, coordinated by the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies, presenters and participants shared tips about publishing local history research and collection images. Bob Crowley, Curator of History for the North Carolina Railway Museum in Bonsal, suggested that not only are publications ways to make research findings and resources broadly accessible, but they can also be profitable for Historical Societies.

Crowley has himself published several books, and at times he has worked with the nearby Chatham County Historical Society to publish material related to railway history.  Chatham County’s Historical Society has developed its own publication program by contracting with a local printing company. In Crowley’s experience, cookbooks are the publications with the most potential for fundraising.

Working with an established publisher can lead to a more professional product and allow your organization to tap into additional publicity and distribution networks. Some companies, such as Arcadia Publishing, specialize in local history.  Consider telling stories through pictures of objects in your collection, along with historic photographs. Monkia Fleming of Edgecombe Community College’s Historic Preservation Program has worked successfully with both Arcadia and History Press.  Both companies are based in South Carolina.

In order to encourage publication and to help off-set the start-up costs involved, The Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies offers members and others interest-free loans of up to $15,000 for the publication of books or pamplets or the production of historical audio-visual materials.  Loans must be repaid within a year.  The Federation has also compiled an extensive list of publications available through member historical organizations.

If you have gathered some interesting information about the communities you serve and can include a variety of images, then publication may be a great option for your organization.  Has your organization had success with publication?  Can you recommend any products or services to help others in these pursuits?

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About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on December 13, 2011, in collections access, public programs and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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