Camden County Tourism Highlighted at AASLH Conference


The American Association for State and Local History had its annual conference in Philadelphia from Aug. 26-28, the first time in 40 years. We were pleased that our session was chosen from a highly competitive field of more than 165 proposals. We talked about our work with the Camden County History Alliance and it included Dorothy Guzzo, Executive Director of the New Jersey Historic Trust, Dr. Jack O’Byrne, Executive Director of the Camden County Historical Society, Bonny Beth Elwell, the Research Librarian at the Camden County Historical Society, Linda Shockley, longtime Board member of the Peter Mott House/Lansdale Historical Society, and yours truly.

During our panel we talked about the inspiration to create the Camden County History Alliance, a band of now 49 historic sites and history organizations in Camden County NJ (84% are volunteer run!). We talked about current projects including the publication of the twice-yearly history magazine, the nine new interpretive signs at historic sites, and Camden County History Week in 2018. We ended our presentation by asking the audience (many of whom were from New Jersey) for feedback and advice about on two intractable problems we faced: 1) motivating independent sites to work together to promote and thus sustain their sites for visitation and 2) inspiring volunteer led sites with minimal organizational capacity to be open regular public hours for visitors.  See our presentation here.