Ohio Historical Society Receives Three National Awards of Merit

from AASLH

COLUMBUS, OH -- The Ohio Historical Society has been selected as the recipient of three Awards of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. AASLH’s Leadership in History Awards recognizes outstanding achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. This year, the AASLH will confer fifty-nine national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations.

AASLH will present the Ohio Historical Society with three Awards of Merit in recognition of the following programs:
• Controversy: Pieces You Don’t Normally See
• Ohio as America Online 4th Grade Textbook
• The Ohio History Service Corps-AmeriCorps Program

The Award of Merit is presented for excellence in history programs when compared to similar projects nationwide. As the recipient of three Awards of Merit, the Ohio Historical Society will receive more Leadership in History awards than any other organization this year. “This recognition honors the hard work of our staff,” said Burt Logan, Executive Director of the Ohio Historical Society. “It illustrates how well the Ohio Historical Society ranks among its peers.”

Controversy: Pieces You Don’t Normally See, one recipient of the Award of Merit, marked an innovative departure from the Ohio History Center’s previous exhibits. Controversy featured the electric chair from the old Ohio Penitentiary, a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, a sheepskin condom, a crib-bed cage that restrained patients at a mental institution and a thumb mitt used to prevent children from sucking their thumbs. The Ohio Historical Society provided minimal interpretation of these objects, allowing the items to stand on their own and encouraging visitors to explore their own personal reactions. The exhibit was on view at the Ohio History Center from April 1 to November 20, 2011.

Ohio as America, another recipient of the Award of Merit, is an innovative electronic textbook and interactive social studies curriculum. Created for social studies teachers by the Ohio Historical Society, Ohio as America is a carefully compiled online textbook that is aligned to the Ohio Revised College and Career Ready Standards and supports the Common Core State Standards.  Ohio as America provides a greatly enhanced study of Ohio’s past in a dynamic format and explores Ohio’s role in and impact on the development of the United States.  Over 30,000 students and 1000 teachers subscribed to the Ohio as America 4th grade online textbook during the 2011-2012 school-year.  A new Ohio as America 8th grade social studies supplement will launch this fall.

The Ohio History Service Corps, the third recipient of the Award of Merit, has been supporting community and local history all over Ohio since October 2011. Partnering with local history organizations, the Ohio Historical Society has placed AmeriCorps volunteers in communities across the state. AmeriCorps members serve in teams to promote and preserve Ohio’s strong history through educational experiences for community members. The Ohio History Service Corps has three components: Civil War 150 Leadership Corps, Ohio History Tech Corps and Ohio Historic Preservation Corps. Each of these AmeriCorps volunteer groups helps local organizations put history to work in their community.

The 67th annual Leadership in History Awards will be presented at a special banquet during the 2012 AASLH Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, October 5, 2012.

AASLH is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH works to advance knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of local history in America. AASLH published books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, and monthly newsletter. The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting. For more information on the awards program and AASLH, please visit www.aaslh.org.

Founded in 1885, the non-profit Ohio Historical Society provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving, and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology, and natural history. The Society has about 1.6 million items in its collections throughout its 50+ sites. The Society receives a portion of its funding from the state, but relies on admission fees, membership, grants, donations, and other forms of revenue to continue to serve Ohioans in the future. For information regarding the Society, contact Jane M. Mason, Director of Marketing and Communications, Ohio Historical Society: 614-297-2312, jmason@ohiohistory.org.