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Annual Local History Roundtable

8th Annual Local History Roundtable

Thank you to everyone who attended the 8th Annual Local History Roundtable on Thursday,  March 23, 2017 at the Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons on Grand Valley State University's Allendale campus. Keep an eye out for photos of the days events on our home page!


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.

Highlights of the 2017 meeting included an opening keynote address by Professor Bich (Beth) Minh Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha's Dinner, Pioneer Girl, and Short Girls. Professor Nguyen directs and teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at University of San Francisco. Other highlights include:

  • An afternoon address Julie Tabberer, Head of the Local History Department and Special Collections at Grand Rapids Public Library;
  • Presentation by Nathan Nietering of Saugatuck-Douglas History Center;
  • Panel presentation on the Value of History Harvests (Oceana County)

Kutsche Office members always receive free admission to the Roundtable, among other benefits. Visit the "Friends of the Kutsche Office" page to learn more and to become a 2017 member.


Local History Roundtable

Past Roundtables

  • 2016 ("Changing Communities"): Held at GVSU's Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons; featured speakers included Todd Robinson (author of City Within a City), Tim Gleisner (now of Herrick District Library), and Delia Fernandez (Michigan State University)
  • 2015 ("Food, Farm, and Table"): Held at the Grand Rapids Public Library, featured speakers included Hank Meijer (Meijer, Inc.) and Ellen Messer (Tufts University).
  • 2014 ("Immigration and Civil Rights"): Held at the Holland Museum, featured speakers included Bing Goei (State of Michigan) and Nora Salas (GVSU)
  • 2013 ("Natives, Settlers, and Founders: Our Shared Community History"): Held at the Grand Haven Community Center, featured speakers included Eric Hemenway (LTBB), Wallace Ewing, and Marjie Viveen
  • 2012 ("Transportation and Waterways"): Held at the Annis Water Institute in Muskegon, featured speakers included Kevin Finney (Jijak Foundation), Carl Bajema (GVSU), Daniel Yakes (MCC), Christine Byron (GRPL), and Tom Wilson
  • 2011 ("Meaning of the 150th Civil War Commemoration"): Held on GVSU's Allendale campus
  • 2010 (General meeting): Held on GVSU's Allendale campus