Thursday, January 27, 2005

Call for Papers II
Besides the Illinois State Historical Society's conference, there's a second historical conference operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. While it's not known if that agency will even exist by this October, it appears that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Theme Park (oops, that should be Presidential Library) will be around to sponsor the taxpayer funded Seventh Annual Conference on Illinois History set for October 27-28, 2005.

Editor's note: I'm an advisory board member to the Illinois State Historical Society and therefore somewhat biased against the state's overwhelming desire to destroy our organization and replace all of our functions with their expensive taxpayer-subsidized duplications of service.

Editor's note II: The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library has a great building and should improve the visitor's access and enjoyment in researching Illinois history, far better than the basement quarters under the Old State Capitol where the previous Illinois State Historical Library was located. The theme park critique belongs to my former professor, friend and Old Slave House nemesis, Dr. John Y. Simon of the U.S. Grant Association.

On the other hand while the Historic Sites Division of IHPA is down about 50 staff positions, which still isn't enough to include staff at sites like the Old Slave House, the state is planning to create 70 new positions for the presidential museum in Springfield. In other words the site superintendent's position at Shawneetown Bank State Historic Site has been replaced with a checkout counter job at the museum's gift shop in Springfield.

But still, the conference is legitimate. It offers a chance for historians to shine and for educators to get continuing ed credits for attending and participating. So back to IHPA's release...

Proposals for individual papers or panels on any aspect of Illinois' history, culture, politics, geography, literature, and archaeology are requested for the Conference on Illinois History. The Conference welcomes submissions from professional and avocational historians, graduate students, and those engaged in the study of Illinois history at libraries, historic sites, museums, and historical societies.

Each proposal should include a summary of the topic and a one-page resume of the participant. The summary should specify the major primary and secondary sources used in the research. Proposals should be for formal, footnoted papers. The deadline for proposals is March 7, 2005. Send proposals to:

Thomas F. Schwartz, State Historian
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
112 North Sixth Street
Springfield, IL 62701

Phone 217/782-2118, Fax 217/558-1574

You can also check out the conference website.