Annual Local History Roundtable

Each spring, the Local History Roundtable brings together librarians, archivists, curators, community members, preservationists, educators, students, and others who share a passion for local history. The one to two day conference is organized by a local, volunteer planning committee. A different theme and location is chosen each year. We hope you will join us for the 2016 meeting.

Todd Robinson


Now in its seventh year, the 2016 Roundtable will be held Thursday, March 24 in the Mary Idema Pew Library on GVSU's Allendale Campus. The Roundtable is open to the public.

Focused on "Changing Communities" the meeting will explore how West Michigan cities like Grand Rapids, Holland, and Muskegon have transformed over the past century and more. Highlights include a keynote address by Professor Todd Robinson, author of A City Within a City: The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids. Professor Robinson is a specialist in urban and African-American history. He is currently an Associate Professor of History at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Panel discussions on the annual theme and a dinner business meeting for museums, library/archives, and historical society staff are other highlights of this year's meeting.

We hope you will join us! Registration for the 2016 meeting will open in September 2015.

Friends of the Kutsche Office always receive free admission to the Roundtable, among other benefits. Visit the "Friends of the Kutsche Office" page to learn more.


Past Roundtables

-2015: "Food, Farm, and Table" held in Grand Rapids Public Library. Featured speakers included Hank Meijer (Meijer, Inc.) and Ellen Messer (Tufts University), with panel discussions exploring West Michigan's diverse foodways and food history.

 -2014: "Immigration and Civil Rights" held in Holland Museum. Featured speakers included Bing Goei (State of Michigan) and Nora Salas (GVSU), with panel discussions devoted to West Michigan's immigration and civil rights histories.

   -2013: "Natives, Settlers, and Founders: Our Shared Community History" held in at the Grand Haven Community Center. Featured speakers include Eric Hemenway (LTBB), Wallace Ewing, and Marjie Viveen

    -2012: "Transportation, Waterways, etc." held at the Annis Water Institute in Muskegon, Michigan. Featured speakers include Kevin Finney, Carl Bajema, Daniel Yakes, Christine Byron, and Tom Wilson. 

    -2011: "Meaning of the 150th Civil War Commemoration" held on GVSU's Allendale campus

    -2010: General meeting, held at GVSU's Allendale campus