Local Historian Skills
To develop your skills as a local historian, you will get out into your community, research topics that interest you, and document the information you learn.
Local Historian Skills Tracker
(1) Visit a museum or historical society that specializes in local history and document what you learn.
Many museums offer free or reduced-price admission at certain times or for low-income people. If possible, try to give your support to organizations in your area.
(2) Research three topics of local history that interest you.
Use what you learned in part (1) to inform what topics might interest you.
(3) Interview an historian or community leader who specializes in a local history topic that interests you.
If you’re struggling to contact a living source of information on a topic you’re studying, talk with a local librarian to find writings on the subject instead.
(4) Research the modern legacy of one local history topic and document what you learn—especially regarding community events and organizations that are involved in preserving, celebrating, or addressing that topic.
There may be local festivals, talks, or movements that deal with your areas of interest. Look online or ask at local community centers and libraries to see how you can attend or get involved.
(5) Teach someone else about what you have learned about your local history.
Look for a “student” who is willing to learn. When you share what you’ve learned, focus on the parts that make it interesting to you—hopefully, they’ll want to feel that interest with you!
You can also download the skills tracker as a printable .PDF here.
Getting Your Badge
You can find the local historian badge here.